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Making Olb^,,^
Ohirty -Eiqht Lessons
m Duildinq Vitalit if
andNeroewrce and in
the c4rt ofPostpon inq

Old c4ae





and 2



young or old, who desire to retain the

energy and enthusiasm of youth and
those who would turn hack the clock of




Father Time, whose bodies are bent, whose

eyes are dimmed, who walk with a
halting gait at an age when they
should be buoyant with the spirit
of youth, this course



and sympatjietically dedicated.




a tragedy.

The young man's age is upon us.

The spirit of youth is now a vital



Old men are not wanted. They are in the way.

They are an encumbrance to themselves and
every one with whom they come in contact.
Years may have crept upon you. You may
have advanced far into what is ordinarily considered old age. But do not dispair. You may regain not only the spirit, but much of the vigor, of
youth and it is your duty to do so.
Square your shoulders. Look the future square
in the face. Turn the. old man out of your life.

Keep out the old-age disease.

Your body is being made over every

day, and
from the debris that accumulates
in the process of rebuilding. Maintain proper activity of your body throughout every part, and
there will be no little or no debris.
Act the part of youth. Cultivate and rigidly
hold on to the spirit of youth. Maintain your energies at high-water mark.
Keep your spine
straight. Thus the old-age disease will find no opportunity to enter your life.
senility results

If you are already in the clutches of old age, begin now to fight for the return of youth. Work
with might and main for the restoration of this
priceless possession.
Train your body as you
would that of a race horse. Follow out the clear
and definite instructions that you find in this
course. Eat food that will give you strength,
virility, energy, vivacity, enthusiasm, and make
your life a daily struggle for the most precious

of all earthly gifts


the power, the joys of youth.

and women have been young at fifty,

sixty, seventy and even eighty.
Some have retained the spirit of youth on to the century mark.
Those who live in accordance with Nature's laws
maintain that life grows more beautiful year by
year ,that
with age.

its glories, its



delights increase

you are living the incomplete life, if you are

giving up the precious things of human existence
for the drunken stupor of dietetic excesses, for
the pleasures of luxury, idleness and ease, you are


your birthright for a mess of potage.

Wake up to the possibilities within your reach

Rejuvenate your body Make your mind keen
and capable. Obey the laws of Nature and you
will achieve results that you now scarcely dare to
dieam of.


sure to thoroughly ventilate your sleeping

Upon waking

in the morning, stretch the legs

as you do when

and arms and b.ody throughout

Continue this stretching process until

every muscle has been properly and
thoroughly awakened.
Take several deep breathing exercises while


feel that

lying in bed.
Make an extraordinary effort to occupy your
mind with pleasant thoughts when arising. "Cut
out the grouch.."
Stand before a mirror and in night clothing
or no clothing, take the vitolyzing exercises illustrated in Lesson II.
Follow these with general upbuilding exercises
explained in Lesson VIII.

At the completion of your exercise wet the

hands in cold water and apply them to all parts
of the body until the skin is wet, then rub the
body with the open hands and until thoroughly
dry. Do not use a towel.
Try to drink a pint or more of water during
or following the exercises. The water can be
hot or cold, as desired.
Arrange your eating habits with a view of
avoiding over-eating. Some people are able to
avoid over-eating advantageously by eating only

one or two meals daily. If you can calculate
accurately the amount of food necessary to your
requirements, three meals are satisfactory. Do
not eat without appetite. Food eaten without
enjoyment often turns to poison in the stomach.
It is usually best to begin the day with an
orange or some other acid fruit. If you have no
appetite for breakfast, the acid fruit mentioned


Eat your hearty meal at noon or at night to

your convenience and your leisure for diges-



A fast of one or two days or even several days

when your

appetite fails or your digestion becomes impaired or you are threatened with acute

of extraordinary value.
is highly commended.
To avoid or cure any tendency to flat foot,
walk in a straight line pointing the feet directly
ahead. If there is a strong tendency to flat foot,
then point the feet inward.
Take deep breathing exercises frequently during thp day while walking.
Every night before retiring take the spinal
stretching exercise in connection with a deep
kne^ squatting position, described in Lesson III.
Always use a little cold cream after shaving,
or better still, some olive oil or other good oil,
before applying the soap.
Use the stretching device for stimulating and
strengthening the spine once or twice weekly,
depending upon the condition of your spine.
illness, is


Take one or two hot baths weekly, using soap
freely for cleansing purposes.
If there is a constitutional inclination towards

catarrh or pyorrhea, it is advisable to avoid eating "hearty" foods after the midday meal. Your
largest meal should then be taken in the morning or at noon, which is most convenient. If
you have no appetite in the morning, it can soon
be developed by avoiding an evening meal. Acid
fruits can be taken in the evening to the extent
desired and if especially hungry, milk or some
liquid food, though in this condition it is usually
safer to avoid these foods.
Keep the scalp clean and the teeth in a cleanly
Carefully read over all the suggestions made in the various lessons and apply the
suggestions that seem to fit your individual case.
And at all times, remember the value of good




Maintaining Youth


Comprising Lessons One to Seven



You Are

Young as Your Spine.

Stand Up Like a Young Man.


Keep-Young Spine


Mechanical Spine Stretching and Straight-




Strengthening the Back and Backbone.

Long-Life Sitting Posture.
Longevity and the Sleeping Position.

Making Old Bodies

You Are





Your Spine


is one structure of the body that may

be regarded as the foundation for everything else. It has more to do than any other
with determining one's state of health and one's

physical age.

The importance of

the spine in its relation to

of an individual has been
recognized from the earliest times. When our
forefathers referred to the value of ^'backbone,"
speaking in a moral and psychological sense,
they merely expressed their recognition of the
supreme importance of the spinal column. The
same idea is brought home to us today by a clever
humorist and cartoonist some of whose work
appears under the significant title, "Are You
One of These Spineless Creatures?" Speaking
in either the moral or physical sense, these expressions mean simply that without backbone
one does not amount to much.
The spine is the dominating and central structure of the body. It is the supporting structure.
It gives stability, and at the same time flexibility,
to the entire body. From the purely mechanical standpoint it is a marvel of adaptability.
Do you realize that in practically every effort
the general


is involved?
Do you
appreciate the fact that in lifting a piano, or carrying a trunk, it is this marvelously strong, yet
exquisitely constructed and flexible spinal column that bears the brunt of the burden? When
you have seen the Arabian acrobat hold on his
shoulders, in pyramid style, the entire troupe of
his fellow acrobats, or when you have seen the
strong man of the circus lift a horse clear of the
ground, you have had a graphic illustration of
the strength possibilities of the spine. And yet
this degree of strength is, as we have seen, combined with a flexibility which is nothing short of
But what has the spine to do with youth and
with age? Simply this: When your spine becomes old you become old. So long as you can
keep your spine young you may remain young.
As we advance in years the spine naturally tends
to become bent and stiifened. It does not matter how early or how late in life this condition
develops, but as soon as the spine has taken on
these signs of age you may know that you are

you may make the spine


Your problem, therefore, should be to keep the

spine strong and straight and flexible. You have
probably noticed that among those who have
lived long, and especially those who have kept
young and healthy and vigorous while living
long, almost the first physical characteristic to
be noted is a good straight back. An old person with a bent back seems very


The man


of seventy or eighty whose back is as straight as
that of a boy seems young.
It is, of course, understood that when we
speak of a straight spine, we do not use the word
^'straight" in the same sense in which we apply
it to a stick.
The "straight" spine is one that
gives the body an erect carriage. There are certain normal curves in the perfect human spine
which are incidental to the vertical position assumed by man, and which are also valuable as
a means of relieving the head from the jar, or
shock, which would otherwise be experienced in

walking, running, or jumping. In other words,

the slight curves of a healthy spine help to give
it spring.
But apart from these normal curves,
which are essential in the perfect erect posture,

any variation from what one may


a straight

spine involves a condition of weakness, if not

The human backbone consists of a series of
twenty-four peculiarly constructed bony structures arranged in a column in such a way as to
provide a canal for the spinal cord. These
twenty-four bones, or vertebrae, are separated
from each other by a series of plates, or rings, of
elastic and compressible material known as cartilage. To get a more perfect and immediate idea
of the nature of this cartilage, pinch your ear, or
the tip of your nose. It is a gummy material, yet
more firm and resistant than gum. When you

meet it in a lamb stew you call it "gristle." It is

the presence of these elastic plates of cartilage


between the vertebrae which gives the backbone
as a whole its flexible quality.
The spinal vertebrae are grouped in three divisions, according to the curves in which they
are found. The cervical vertebrae, seven in number, are those of the neck and take the form of
an anterior curve (curving forward) The next
twelve, known as the dorsal, form a posterior
curve (curving backward), and extend down to
about the waistline, or the small of the back. It
is the dorsal vertebrae to which the ribs are attached, twelve on each side. The lumbar vertebrae, numbering five, form another anterior
curve at the bottom of which is the sacrum. The
sacrum is both the base of the spinal column and
the keystone of the hip and pelvic bones, which in
the good old days were dignified by the name
of "haunch bones." Below the sacrum the spine
tapers off abruptly in a series of tiny bones called
collectively the coccyx.
Each of the vertebrae is pierced with an opening through which the spinal cord passes.
Branching off from the cord is a series of socalled spinal nerves, each consisting of a bundle
of nerve fibers. The spinal nerves emerge from
the cord through small openings provided between the vertebrae. It will be seen, therefore,
that if these vertebrae are misplaced, or out of
line, these openings may be more or less closed
up, and so the spinal nerves may be pinched and
their capacity for carrying impulses or impressions impaired. In the same way, if the cartilage



cushions between the vertebrae become flattened
or hardened, a narrowing of the openings
through which the spinal nerves emerge must occur, and at the same time the flexibility of the
spine will be impaired. This necessarily means
impaired functioning, poor health and a rapid
development of those bodily conditions which we
find in extreme age.
Another factor in the
mal and beautiful spine

maintenance of a nor-

is the condition of the

muscles and ligaments along the course of the
backbone and of the back generally. If these
ligaments are relaxed and stretched, they do not
hold the spinal vertebrae in their proper relation
to each other, and misplacements are likely to
occur. In the same way a lack of development
of the muscles of the back is conducive to faulty
posture and chronic conditions of spinal curva-


Remember that the



in itself,

because of its very elasticity, will not hold one

properly erect. This is a matter that depends
upon the muscles of the back. If these muscles
are strong and well developed and so trained as
to preserve correct posture, one will experience
no difficulty in keeping the spine straight and the
body erect. If, on the other hand, they are weakened and debilitated, and not properly trained,
the individual is liable to go about in a drooping,
stoop-shouldered condition, and to develop various forms and degrees of chronic spinal curvature. The necessity for proper exercises to keep
the spine strong and normal will, therefore, be


apparent. Such exercises will not only strengthen
the muscles, but will tone up and strengthen the
ligaments as well.

Now when we

say that "a man is as young as

be seen that we do not allude
merely to the mechanical advantages involved in
good posture, but also to the relationship of the
spine to the vital processes of the body. These
vital processes are dependent upon a straight and
healthy spine, because they are dependent upon
the currents of nerve force derived from the central nervous system.
his spine,"



The nervous system may be

called the electri-

department of the body. You, of course,

know how much an electrical system depends
upon the wires and connections, and what it


if the wires are interfered with, or if there

anything wrong with the motors, dynamos and
electrical machinery generally.
It is the same
with the nervous system of the body. If anything goes wrong with the spinal column, or if its
communications with the rest of the body are
interfered with, the whole system must be upset.
This means, naturally, that the vital processes of
the body cannot be carried on properly.


processes of digestion and the work of the

kidneys, heart and other vital organs are
prompted and controlled by nerve impulses.
More directly, they are carried on and controlled
by the sympathetic nervous system.
The central nervous system, so-called, consists



of the brain and spinal cord, with the nerve
branches radiating directly therefrom.
In addition to this central nervous system, and
connected with it, there is a system of nerve
structures in all parts of the body which collectively make up what is called the sympathetic

nervous system. Each separate organ of the body

has a ganglia, or mass of nerve cells, which has
to do with its activities. The main or central
sets of ganglia in the sympathetic nervous system, however, are situated a little in front of the
spinal column, in a series of pairs, one on each
side. These are all connected with each other.
Now these sympathetic ganglia control the entire sympathetic nervous system, which in turn
controls those processes of life which are unconscious, and which are sometimes called the Vegetative" functions of the body. They go on when
we sleep, as well as when we are awake, without
conscious effort or knowledge on our part. The

digestion of food, the work of the liver, the secretions of the glands, the beat of the heart and all
the muscular contractions which are involved in
digestion, or other vital processes, are carried on
in this involuntary way without our knowing
anything about it. These involuntary activities of
the body are infinitely more important
we may
say one hundred times more important than
our voluntary activities, in so far as life, health
and energy are concerned. If the sympathetic
nervous system is not properly keyed up or energized, all of these involuntary functions will suf-




Your stomach, your

your glands

will not then


your kidneys,

work properly.

If a man is as old as his spine, it is chiefly because he is as old as his sympathetic nervous
system, for the reason that the condition of the
spine and of the spinal cord determines the health
and activity of the sympathetic nerve ganglia. If
the spine functions properly and the spinal vertebrae are perfectly placed, the circulation in and
about the spinal cord will be normal, and this
means also a normal circulation in and about the
sympathetic ganglia in front of the spinal column. On the other hand, if there is stiffness of
the backbone and a lack of motion, or any misplacement of the vertebrae, the circulation is interfered with, the currents of nerve force are
obstructed and one cannot have normal functioning of the sympathetic nervous system. This
means that the dependent organs deteriorate or
degenerate, and one becomes "old."
That is really what old age means. In the
natural order of things, the stiffness or rigidity of
the spine which comes on in advanced life reacts
upon all of the organs and structures of the body.
The result is an active change or alteration in
the structure of most of these organs, which
usually takes the form of atrophy, or, in other
words, a withering or wasting away of their tissues. The walls of the arteries become thickened
and hardened, and their normal elasticity gives
place to a greater or less degree of brittleness.
The working capacity of the kidneys is impaired.


may be said, indeed, that Bright's disease is
really a disease of old age. If a man has Bright's
disease at the age of forty, it is because his kidIt

neys have become old twice too quickly. This

may result from direct abuse of the kidneys
through overwork, excessive meat-eating and alcoholic indulgence; but, on the other hand, a
deficient supply of nerve force from the spine
may be responsible. If the spine is properly
"loosened up" and in normal condition, so that
the sympathetic ganglia involved in the work
of the kidneys are healthy and vigorous, one may
avoid or even overcome Bright's disease, unless
the strain upon the kidneys through improper

and improper living is too great.

In the same way the ductless glands depend
upon the sympathetic nervous system and
through that, indirectly, upon the condition of

The relation of the ductless glands to

age is such an important matter that we will
have a special discussion of the subject later on.
These glands, and especially the thyroid and
pituitary body, the adrenal glands and the sex
glands, are all tremendously important in maintaining that state of vigor which is synonymous
with youth. These glands control what is called
metabolism; which is the word by which the series
of tissue changes involved in the building up
and tearing down of the cells of the body is techthe spine.

nically designated. And as we shall see later in

the discussion of the influence of these glands, if
they do not function properly ,old age will come


on prematurely. The

spine, through the sympanervous system, determines, to a very

large extent, the healthy, active functioning of

these glands. I am informed that investigators
have definitely proven that lesions of the cervical
vertebrae produce malfunctioning of the thyroid
The condition of the spine, furthermore, determines the character of the circulation. The vasomotor nerves directly control the blood vessels.
The blood vessels may be contracted or narrowed,
relaxed or enlarged, according to the requirements of the body and the necessity for sending
larger or smaller quantities of blood to different
parts. If a large blood supply is required in any
particular region, the vaso-motor nerves expand
the blood vessels of that region, with the result
if the
that the increase is brought about.
sympathetic nerves or ganglia are interfered
with, in even the slightest degree, so that the
vaso-motoT nerves cannot control the blood-vessels, one cannot possibly have normal circulation.
If you do not have normal circulation, that is, if
your blood cannot supply to the different parts
of the body the necessary food and oxygen, and
cannot carry away the waste material, the result
will be impaired metabolism, and this faulty
function will result in old age.
that we have seen the importance of the
will take up the more practical conspine,
siderations of what to do to keep it young,






Like a

Young Man


is a fundamental relationship between good posture and youth, on the one

hand, and bent posture and age, on the other.
To maintain the posture of youth actually means
the maintenance of youth itself, because of the
basic relationship between the healthy, normal
spine and the condition of bodily vigor which

signifies youth, irrespective of

one has

how many



great deal of attention has been given in recent years, by physiologists, physical trainers and
students of hygiene, to the relationship between
good posture and health. There has been considerable discussion of the need for improvement
in seats and desks for school children.
progressive spirits have even suggested the need
for improvement in the furniture in our offices
and homes, and the world may well be thankful
for this agitation. The subject is one of vast
importance both to the health and development
of the growing body and to the maintenance of
health and strength in the mature.
As has been already noted, the most easily recognized sign of old age is the forward bend of the
spine, combined with the "round shoulders*'
which necessarily accompany it. Very old persons often exhibit this condition in a very marked
degree, almost bending over double. But peo-


To overcome

a bent or slouching posture the simplest method

the arms high above the head. This straightens
the back and elevates the chest. Now, keeping head, chest
and shoulders in the same position lower the arms and you
find yourself standing in perfect posture,
is to stretch



pie sometimes show this sign of old age rather
early in life. On the other hand, men of advanced
years, by simply straightening their spines and
walking erect, make themselves look from ten
to thirty years younger than they really are.
Therefore, the man or woman who has passed
middle age and who wishes to maintain the condition and the appearance of youth
for they go
together should make continuous and persistent efforts to bring the body up to an erect position and to keep it erect, as well as to take those
exercises which are essential in straightening the
spine and giving it youthful flexiblity.
In the absorbing cares of business life one is
liable to forget this fundamental necessity. Particularly in the sitting posture one is likely to
slump carelessly into an improper position.
Therefore, it may be said, one's entire life should
be a constant fight to maintain the erect position.

One should stand erect, walk erect, sit erect and

try to maintain a straight and normal position
of the spine even during the sleeping hours.
The bent-over position of the spine, with the
stooping shoulders that go with it, influences the
body in two ways.
First, the body and its functions suffer from
the direct effect of bad posture upon the internal
organs. The chest is flattened and cramped,
thereby crowding the heart and preventing the
free expansion of the lungs. It thus means an
immediate loss of the proper supply of oxygen



ideal method of correcting a bad posture is to stand with

the back against a wall with heels, hips, shoulders and back
of the head touching it. Then by bending the head backward as above, the shoulders are pushed one or two inches
away from the wall. This gives you a perfect standing position. When in doubt as to your posture try this nnovement.



in the lungs and consequently in the blood, but
it also means a displacement downward of all of
the vital organs. This faulty position of the body
involves not only a cramped chest but the sagging and protruding of the abdomen.
In the normal position the abdominal region
never extended.
In the slumping position, however, characteristic of the extremely
aged, or of the one who has prematurely aged,
the abdomen is relaxed and prolapsed, and the
stomach, liver and other internal organs sag several inches below the normal, crowding upon the
intestines and other parts below. There is considerable strain of all ligaments and tissues in
this prolapsed condition, and there is also congestion due to the pressure of these organs upon one
another. Under such circumstances poor functioning is inevitable.
But impaired functioning also results from bad
posture in another way. That is through the obstruction of the spinal nerves, due to the bending
of the spine from its normal position and the improper alignment of the vertebrae. Since all of
the vital organs depend for their energy upon the
currents of nerve force secured from the nervous
system, any interference with or pinching of the
spinal nerves, whereby part of the normal supply
of nerve force is shut off, would naturally interfere to that extent with satisfactory functioning.
This is a point that has already been taken up
in the preceding chapter.
But what is good posture? It may be said


briefly that

it is the position in which one stands

most perfectly erect. It is
this erect attitude that distinguishes man from all
other animals, even from
the apes. It is the attitude
in which one is conscious
of the greatest possible
energy. It is the characteristic military position,
having become so simply
for the reason that it is
the attitude in which a
man possesses the maxiamount of energy.


If you want to know

just what good posture is,
try the experiment of
"drawing yourself up to
your full height." That
is what the hero does in

your favorite novel when

he is confronted by his
hated rival and some desperate emergency at the
same time. It is the attitude expressive of pride.
Another ideal posture corrective is the simple exercise of
clasping the hands back of the head, then pulling the head
and elbows backward as illustrated. This will straighten the
spine, raise the chest and give you good standing position.


Showing^ correct walking position after attaining good posture by the foregoing methods. The position of the head is
the dominating factor in good carriage. The head must be
Up and the upper spine straight.



is "vitolysing/* the author's favorite exercise for improving the posture, straightening the upper spine and arousing
latent nervous energy. It is even a mental stimulant. Instead of tipping the head back, it is brought back while the
chin is kept down and drawn inward. Think of drawing
the chin inward, downward and backward and you have
This is done simultaneously with the raising and extending of the chest at the solar plexus. Repeat this movement several times whenever you think of it if possible,
dozens of times each day.



This is a variation of "vitolysing"* in which the head is tumea

to one side while the chin is drawn backward. This gives the
upper spine a twist in conjunction with the straightening
movement. Qoth variations of vitolysing should be prac*
ticed many times a day.



of self-confidence and of energy. You will find
that in this position the head is stretched upward,
the chest is expanded and the viscera drawn in-

ward and upward.

seems to be natural to men to relax and to
slump, probably because very few of us have had
proper early training in the art of holding ourselves erect. It may be necessary for you, therefore, to exercise constant vigilance over your

bodily carriage and to practice certain simple exercises which will give you correct posture.
There are two or three methods which may be

recommended to "set you up."

The first method consists in standing with your


back against a wall, and placing against the latter the heels, the hips, the shoulders and the back
if from this position you will
of the head.


thrust the head backward a little bit, keeping the

hips against the wall, the shoulders will be thrust
slightly forward away from the wall. Try it now.
Go over and stand against the door and see how
it works out.
You will find that by moving the head backward and thus pushing the shoulders away from
the wall, the chest will be raised and expanded,
the back will be given its normal lumbar curve
and you will find yourself standing in an attitude

of perfect poise. After you have done this repeatedly and mastered the idea, you will be able
to take the position even without standing
against the wall. The backward tip of the head is

These two photographs illustrate the value of vitolysing in

correcting a bad posture. The photo at the left shows a
careless, slouching attitude familiar to everyone. The mere
act of vitolysing, as in the second photograph, brings the
head back, straightens the spine and raises the chest automatically.



only temporary. The head is brought back to
the erect or vertical position as soon as you have
established the proper erect carriage.
Another plan is to reach upward and clasp the
hands back of the head with the elbows upward
and back. Standing in this position, if you will
now bring your head backward against your
hands, you will find your chest expanded, your
spine straightened and your entire poise correct.
It will give you a position similar to that of the
soldier. You can now drop your hands to the
sides, but maintaining the same attitude of the
spine, and the result will be identical with the
ideal carriage secured through the exercise of
standing against the wall.
There is a third simple exercise for obtaining
perfect posture through this necessary straightening of the upper spine. This exercise is so important and so valuable as a mental and nervous
stimulant that I have coined the word "vitolysing" to describe it. Vitolysing consists simply in
straightening the upper spine by drawing the
the head backward while keeping the chin down.
The important point to think of is to bring the
chin downward, inward and backward. If you
will think of this, you can forget everything else.
It may help you to catch the idea of vitolysing to
go back to the simple exercise just described.
While standing with your hands at the back of

your head bring your head backward, not by

tipping the chin up, but by tipping the chin down
and pulling it inward and backward. Be sure to


pull the head far back while keeping the chin
down. After you have tried this a few times
you can do it as well with the hands at the sides
as at the back of the head. This is vitolysing.

variation of the exercise consists in turning

the head to one side or the other and pulling the
chin backward.
You will find that all three of these simple
methods of obtaining perfect posture are based
upon the same fundamental principle. It is that
of straightening the upper spine by bringing the
head backward in its relation to the body as a
whole. It is not necessary to think of "pulling
the shoulders back," as the teacher used to tell
you to do many years ago, or to think of expanding the chest. If you get your spine straight,
the chest will naturally be restored to its normal
position, and the shoulders will drop back to their
normal position.
Remember that the spine is the fundamental
structure of the human body. With the brain, in
which it terminates, it constitutes the center of
the nervous system. All other parts of the body
are, so to speak, appendages of the spine. The
shoulders and arms at the upper end, and the
hips and legs at the other, are simply tacked onto
the spine. If you did not have a spine, you would

be a jellyfish, a




or an insect.

column properly

and keep








Making Old
Bodies l:beNG
Ohirty -Eiqlit Cessans
in Buildina Vitalitij
and Neroekrce and in
thec4rt ofPostponina




3 and 4

Bernair Macfadden

Copyright 19 19 by


New York City




Keep -Young Spine Exercises


is only one way in which the spine

can be kept young, and that is through exer-


Left to itself, in connection with a physically

inactive life, the spine, like other parts of the
body, will become stiffened.





In other words, the spine will rust out quicker

than it will wear out with proper use.
Just what then is necessary to a healthy and
youthful condition of the spine?
The first requirement is straightness.
The second requirement is flexibility.
The third requirement is strength.
These are the three conditions for which one
should strive, and one's exercises, accordingly,
should be chosen to these ends. Corrective movements of the right kind are necessary in straightening the spine, and stretching exercises are
especially important in this connection. Stretching, bending and spine-twisting exercises are all
valuable, not only in straightening the spine, but
that quality of elasticity and flexibilcharacteristic of youth. Having acquired these important characteristics, additional
attention may be given to the strengthening of
the backbone, and the back generally.
in giving






As we have already said, the conditions of civilized hfe, involving sedentary work, sitting in
improperly constructed chairs, bending over
desks and other detrimental influences, all combine to make it necessary for one to make a
continuous fight in order to keep the spine
straight and normal. Otherwise the cartilages
tend to become flattened, hardened and brittle,
instead of elastic, the vertebrae tend to become
misplaced, and the spinal column as a whole
tends to become bent out of its normal curves.
There are special reasons why the human backbone, more than that of any other species of
vertebrates, is liable to deviations from the normal. In the first place, although the spinal
structure is very, very old and goes back far
beyond the beginning-s of human life, indeed as
far back as the fishes, yet from the standpoint of
evolution, it is a relatively late development. It
might, therefore, be expected to develop more
imperfections, for instance, than the stomach or
the eyes, which were developed at a far earlier
period of evolutionary history.
But the normal spinal position of practically
all the vertebrates except man is horizontal.

Spinal evolution had become very thoroughly

adapted to the horizontal form. The human
spine is a comparatively recent variation, and
although it is, in fact, a wonderfully developed
structure, it has not had such long geological
periods in which to become adapted to the upright attitude as have the spines of other mam4



exercise for flexibility of the Upper spine, useless unless

performed very thoroughly. First bring the head far forward, the chin touching the chest if possible, then far back,
looking straight upward. Repeat all these exercises a few
times, or until slightly tired.


Bring the head sideways as close to the shoulder as possible

and then over to the other. Continue bending back and
forth, stretching in each instance.

mals to the horizontal. The human being is the

only animal that walks in the erect posture.
It is natural, therefore, that the weight of the
body, carried by the spine entirely, should sometimes bear heavily upon this structure. Gravity
is constantly at work, and gravity undoubtedly
has a great deal to do with the imperfections so
often found in the

human spine. But it will exert

when the spine is

a deleterious influence only

weak and the carriage imperfect. If the body is

well balanced and so carried that the weight is
properly distributed upon the supporting backbone, the normal spine easily discharges its functions ; but if there is muscular unbalance, gravity


Turn or twist the head around, first far to one side, then to
the other, though without strain. This is most important
for upper spinal flexibility.

aggravate the malpositions and produce

other imperfections. In other words, if through
bad posture there is a continuous or unnatural
strain upon certain parts of the spine, it will become habitually bent, the ligaments will become
weakened, the cartilages flattened at one side in
the adaptation to the chronic faulty position, and
one will have deformity of the backbone as a
It will easily be seen that when the muscles of
the back are weak, and the ligaments about the



Bring the head both downward and to one side as above.

Bring first to the left side then to the right side, then diagonally backward to each side.

spinal column intended to keep the vertebrae in

place relaxed, faulty positions will much more
easily become chronic. That is why strengthbuilding spine exercises and general backstrengthening efforts are important, in addition
to the primary work of straightening the spine
and securing flexibility. If one maintains good
posture and a sufficient degree of vigor and
strength in the muscles and ligaments of the
back, one will have no difficulty in maintaining
the health of the spine.


This is a circling movement of the head in which it is swung

around and around with as much of a bend throughout the
After a few rotations in one direction
circle as possible.
reverse and rotate in the other direction.

There are many cases of seriously displaced

vertebrae and spinal deformity which will need
not only exercise, but also special adjustment by

some one skilled in such work, such as an osteopath or a chiropractic. One who possesses a normal
spine, however, can keep it normal by the proper
exercise, and even where there are marked
tendencies to spinal curvature and displacement
of vertebrae many of the simple spine-stretching,






which we are illustrating

will have great corrective
It may be said, too, that
mechanical adjustments
are not usually sufficient

The adin themselves.

justed vertebrae always
have a tendency to slip
back to their old faulty
positions, partly because
of muscular tension.
Therefore, if one supplements the mechanical adjustment treatment at the
hands of a specialist by





strengthening the spine,

such as are illustrated

its effects



There is no doubt that
nutrition has a very pro-

likely to be



on pos-

poorly nourished individual very easily

acquires a stooped positure.

is a simple stretching exercise which may be performed

with both hands together and then with each hand separately.
Stretch one arm as high upward as possible and
stretch downward with the other arm. This is particularly


effective in its influence


upon the dorsal






in part due to faulty

nutrition in old age
that the bending of

the spine is such a

notable characteristic
of this period of life.
I am told that Dr.
Charles Fleck, an
osteopath who has
been treating French
children orphaned by
the war, has found in
many of them the
stooping posture that
is so characteristic of
old age. They do not
have normal mobility
of the chest, perhaps
only a half-inch chest
expansion. Dr. Fleck
regards this as the
result of poor nutrition.



also be

due, in large part, to

shock and other depressing influences.
If one feels well and




by means of which you

length from the hands, as in this

to arrange a bar or other support

can suspend the body full

photograph. In some cases the top of the door sash will serve
for the purpose. This suspended position is an admirable
one for stretching the spine uniformly.


oneself up and carries oneself better. When
children were brought from the areas where they

had been under bombardment, and had seen

people killed and wounded about them, they had
a characteristic facial expression which was only
corrected by some months of exercise and special
It is, therefore, not surprising that
they should have been unable to maintain their


normal carriage.
I have made special reference to the importance of flexibility and elasticity in the spine,
pointing out that this mobility is essential to
good circulation both in the spinal cord and
sympathetic nerve ganglia. Now one of the
best all-around tests of spinal mobility is found
in chest mobility. Can you expand your chest,
or are your ribs stiff and immovable? I will tell
you why this is important, at least so far as the
dorsal vertebrae are concerned. It is because the
twelve pairs of ribs are attached to these twelve
dorsal vertebrae, and the amount of movement
in the ribs is a good indication of the condition
of the spine. If you can expand your chest only
a half-inch, or in other words, if your ribs are
stiff and immovable, it means that your spine is
stiff and immovable.
And to that extent your


is old.


are, perhaps, not a "chesty'^ kind of individual. You have worn a tight-fitting vest for
twenty to forty years, which makes it difficult to
expand your chest. You have worn suspenders

which press down upon your chest on each




Hanging by one hand

not only a spine stretcher but is

This exercise is corrective
of lateral spinal curvature. For instance, a curvature to the
left side accomipanied by a condition in which the right
shoulder is lower than the left, will be corrected by frequently hanging in this manner by the right arm, and vice-

conducive to


flexibility as well.




This exercise is for the small of the back and the lumbar
spine. Bend and stretch far forward with the knees straight.
If you cannot touch the floor as illustrated, then stretch as
far as you can without strain.


This IS probably the best spine-twisting exercise for the

dorsal and lumbar spine. Standing with the feet apart and
arms extended, stretch the right arm far to the left and over
the left foot, as illustrated. Then reverse, stretching the
left arm beyond and over the right foot, repeating five or ten



and this pressure is just sufficient to act as a
continuous deterring influence, even if you were

expand your chest, which you are not.

Therefore, perhaps in years, you may not have
really expanded your chest to its limit.
And yet, that is just what you ought to do every
day. Not simply for the sake of improving your
chest and giving room for your heart and lungs,
but for the sake of your spine. Cultivate the
chest-expansion habit. Practice deep breathing
with it if you choose, and that makes it all the
better, but also expand your chest for the sake
of your backbone.
inclined to

It is this stiffness which you must

you would keep young. To a large

fight off, if

extent, the
impossible to straighten
It is stiff, rigid. Just bringing his
shoulders back does not give him normal mobility.
He may try to straighten his spine, and
it is a good thing for him to do so, but if he is
really a very old man, he cannot do it.
It is no wonder that men and women become
old, and settle down, and get crusty and **stiffreally old
his spine.




necked" (literally and figuratively). They do

not take exercises that move their spinal joints.
They do not "loosen" up their spinal joints, or
any of their other joints. If you have already be-


to acquire this condition of stiffness, take

warning. Right about face Go to work now
at once
and strive for flexibility and elasticity
in every part, but especially in your spine. Prac!

tice the exercises

which are

illustrated for this



is a body-circling or rotating exercise for

the entire spine. Bend from the small of the
back as much as possible and circle the body
around, first in one direction and then in the
other, five or ten times each way.


a spine loosener and flexibility exercise. Getting

all fours, move around in as small a circle as possible, after the manner of a cat chasing its tail.
Bend the
body as much as possible.



down on

purpose. If very stiff, spinal manipulation by a

skilled operator can be recommended. But unless there is special need for the adjustment of
displaced vertebrae, the exercises which are presented will answer your requirements.
One of the most valuable means of expanding
the lungs and stimulating and stretching the
spine is found in the following exercise:


Turning sommersaults in this manner is a favorite diversion

with young children. It will help to keep your spine just
as young as theirs. It is a spine loosener and flexibility promoter, as well as a means of spinal massage. Use a mat, soft
rug, or grassy lawn.


Stand erect with the feet a few inches apart.

the hands far forward, and bend the knees
as far as possible, keeping the heels on the floor
and going downward until the knees strike
against the chest. Just before reaching the extreme limit of the movement, allow the head to
fall forward with a snap or jerk. The muscles of
the neck must be entirely relaxed to accomplish

Take the same

exercise after

drawing in a deep


BreatK sl^ much as you can inhale, retaimng
the breath while making a complete movement.
Then try to inhale additional breath and repeat
the exercise again. Continue in this manner
until you have drawn in asr much air as possible,
after which exhale the breath. Now breathe
fully and deeply several times and then repeat
the process as described. You should become
iable to go through the movement from six to
fifteen times before exhaling the breath.
The main idea in this exercise is to force the
spine backward into the proper position by
filling the chest with air and thereby distending
the abdominal cavity, and at the same time to
stretch it. To accomplish this latter object to
the best possible advantage, the weight should
fall to the floor with as much rapidity as possible,
bringing the knees onto the chest with a motion
somewhat in the nature of a jerk. The falling
forward of the head stretches the spine to the
lumbar region (the small of the back), and its
effect is accentuated by the unusual fullness of
the chest and abdominal cavity.
In taking this exercise you must at first be very
careful to avoid strain. Don't attempt to drop
to the squatting position too quickly till the
muscles become strong and elastic.


Mechanical Spine Stretching and Straightening
importance of
and of cultivating

straightening the spine


we have already-

The value of stretching as a factor in making
the spine both straight and flexible should also
be especially emphasized.
If you have somehow strained your hands and
developed a kink in one of your knuckles, putting
the finger joint a little out of place, what do you
do ? You take hold of that finger with the other
hand and you stretch it. You give it a good
steady pull, stretching^ all the ligaments, and
when you let go the joint goes back into its
proper place and everything is all fixed, except
perhaps for a little tenderness due to the strain.
If your shoulder joint is dislocated, you go to
the doctor. What does he do with it? Does he
give it a twist and a push in order to put it back
into place? Or does he give the arm a good,
steady pull, stretching it into a position from
which, when the strain is relaxed, it will go back
into its normal position?
Perhaps you never
had a dislocated shoulder. Nevertheless, you
may know that the correct method of setting
practically all dislocated joints is the stretching
process described.


a loop prepared with heavy tape into

feet may be hooked and held in conjunction with the succeeding spine-stretching



which the








to 3



Now precisely the same principle applies to
the joints of the spine. The stretching of the
spinal column is corrective and helpful as a
means of restoring any displaced vertebrae to a
normal position.

The important thing

for present consideration

the fact that stretching is not only corrective,
but is of the greatest possible value in keeping
the spine normal and the ligaments elastic, strong



Stretching will also help to keep the cartilages

in their normal cushiony and elastic condition.
have seen, the weight of the body, being
supported by these cartilages between the spinal
vertebrae, tends to flatten them. If they can be
relieved from this pressure, they will tend to expand and recover their normal dimensions. The
recumbent position naturally supplies this relief

As we



Were it not for the horizontal position assumed

in sleep for many hours out of each twenty-four,
the cartilages of the spine would probably become hopelessly depressed, flattened and hardensee at once how much more
be this relief and the restorative
effect of the rest, if a certain amount of stretching


But you can

effective will

applied as well.



voluntary stretching exercises per-

formed by the use of the muscles of the body

are of the very greatest value for this purpose.
is nothing that will take the place of such
voluntary stretching movements. At the same





These two photographs represent a head harness and a pad

or collar made with an ordinary bath towel, to be used in
the spine-stretching exercises shown in the subsequent photographs. The heavy towel acts as a pad for the adjustment of the head-gear shown.


O O d*0





^ M O






a U n


^ >

wtS o S a
a "'^ ftrt w
CO "p^ 43
.S4S w'SS?*'
wop, '^^ O



ja ii^'H

- ^ 61
o j
^ 6


3 w MM





2 ^ S

time, to obtain the best results, external help is
also necessary.
As a general thing, any sturdy and vigorous
child of two or three years of age will enjoy being
picked up by the head, providing one lifts him
gently. Perhaps most parents are fearful that
by such handling they will break the child's neck,
or otherwise injure him. As a matter of fact, it
is very probable that the stretching of the child's
upper spine will be beneficial. If there are any
imperfections or slight subluxations of the backbone, this lifting by the head would tend to correct them. It is, of course, not a "stunt" to be
indulged in too freely with a child of delicate

baby who has never had proper

have very weak muscles and ligaments. In such a case a procedure of this kind
is not to be forced upon it.
At the same time
there is a virtue in this spine-stretching method.
That the weight of the adult body is not too great
for the neck has been demonstrated by many
vaudeville and circus performers who hang by


Such circus acts usually consist of

feat in which the performer is whirled
about in a circle, often incredibly fast.. The Centrifugal force developed by the circular swinging
action places a strain upon the jaw and upon the
the teeth.


neck of the performer which is probably many

times greater than his mere body weight. So far
as I know, these performers enjoy the very best
health and the greatest possible vitality so long
asl they escape accidents and survive.





This is an even more effective and strenuous spine-stretching

treatment, using the same apparatus with the rope passed
over the top of a door, a bar, or any other convenient fixture.
Do not attempt to suspend the entire weight of the
body in this way at least not at first. In all of these exercises care must be used to avoid strain.



Upon this principle the ancient and honored
practice of hanging by the neck
the nomination
for which is not widely sought after by our best
^might be most healthful, were it not
that it happens to be a little too hard on the neck
Unfortunately, the subject is allowed to drop a
number of feet before the suspension of the body
is suddenly and jerkingly accomplished.
Furthermore, there is an ugly knot placed just at the
point where it is likely to cause a displacement
of the cervical or neck vertebrae such that no
osteopath could repair it. But if one could be
gently adjusted in this suspended position with-

out jerk or strain, then hanging would be a most

healthful diversion, although perhaps a little too
strenuous for some of us.
The principle, however, of mechanical stretching in a gentler manner, is none the less valuable.
When put into practice according to some of the

methods suggested and illustrated herewith it

should be of the greatest value. These mechanical stretching methods should not, as we have
said, take the place of voluntary muscular
stretching exercises, but should be used in conjunction with them.
No violent strain should be used in the beginning. As in most other things, it is always well
to make haste slowly, using gentle measures first
and only gradually increasing the vigor and
amount of stretching.


Making Old
Bodies li)i[]iNG
Ghirty -Eight Cessons
m Building Vitalitij

and Neroe Force and in

the c4rt ofPostpon inq
Old c4ae



6 and 7

Beinan Macfadden

Copyright 19 19 by


New York City



Strengthening the Back and Backbone



have noticed that


of great

vitality are invariably possessed of strong

backs and good full necks.

strong back seems
to be associated with vital strength and long life.
This is true, probably, not only on account of
the mere muscular strength associated with such
a development, but because this muscular
strength and the general vigor that goes with it
mean a better and straight er backbone. The vigorous development of the back and neck insures
stability of the spine and prevents it from becoming improperly bent or injured in the general
affairs of life. The loosely hung, weak back of
the undeveloped man indicates, on the contrary,
that there is not a sufficient muscular support for
the many joints of the spinal column, and in
such a case it is very easy for the vertebrae to
become displaced and other spinal imperfections
to develop.
Therefore, next to exercises for straightening
the spine and cultivating flexibility, strengthbuilding exercises are of the greatest value.
After all, the spinal column does not stand by
Take the spine out of the body, disconnect it from all the ligaments and muscles which
surround it, and then try to stand it up by itself,
and you will find that it will simply bend over

an exercise for every muscle of the back at the same

Clasping the hands, bring them back and away from
the body, bending and arching the small of the back and



drawing the head back as far as possible. The more mJental

effort you use in this exercise, the more effective it becomes.
Make the effort for perhaps two or three seconds, then relax
and repeat five or ten times.

This is a back-strengthening exercise in which you may

exert as much or as little strength as you choose, depending
upon the mental effort. Clasping the hands over the knee
as illustrated, pull downward with the leg and upward with
the arms, the arm pull of course being accomplished by the
back muscles. Repeat three to five times with each leg.


this bending movement with a

added resistance in the form of a fiat iron, or some
other weight, will be effective. Do not try to lift big weights.
Repeat the movement only a few times. Lower the weight
in front of the body as shown, then lift it high above the head.

For strengthening the back



as limp as a willow, or even fall to pieces.

It is

only by means of the muscles and ligaments attached to it that the spinal column can be held
properly erect. Naturally, therefore, unless you
possess an unusual amount of natural strength in
these muscles and ligaments, you will require
exercise for the building of such strength.
It should be understood that in order to acquire an easy and perfect carriage, one requires
more than just enough strength to be able to
stand up. No one has strength enough until
he has more than enough, for a measure of surplus strength is necessary in order that the purpse for which it is intended may be accomplished easily.
It does not take much strength to be just able
to walk, and yet no one can walk well unless
he has a surplus of strength. If he has the energy
and the power to be able to run and jump, then
he will have the surplus of energy that will make
walking easy, and that will enable him to walk
well and far without becoming fatigued.
If you have just enough strength to enable you
to hold your head up, you will quickly become
fatigued; but if you have a strong back and a
good neck development, you will find that it is no
effort to hold yourself erect and that you will
carry yourself well.
Any young man should have enough strength
in his back to be able to hold up and carry another
man of his own weight without any difficulty.
This should not be found an unusual or strenu7




o u

w O

























really strong

only a fraction of what

can accomplish. And yet

It is really


even the small amount of strength required to

stand erect while supporting the weight of
another man will be sufficient to enable one to
stand erect by oneself without tiring. This should
really apply at a time of life long past what we
usually call middle age.
Farmer Burns, the
famous wrestler and one-time world champion,
v/ho is now not far from sixty years of age,
is still capable of holding his own in many feats
with younger athletes in the prime of condition.
Indeed in a large number of tests and contests,
Mr. Burns actually excels many of the younger
wrestlers with whom he comes in contact. I cite
this merely to show the possibilities of bodily
vigor in men of fifty-seven years and up.
In short, strength of the muscles of the back
and ligaments will make good posture easy. You
cannot stand up, or sit up properly, if these
muscles are fatigued, and if the ligaments are

weak and relaxed. If your back is weak and

the muscles easily fatigued, you will do just what
so many persons actually do
you will droop.
Your back will bend, and instead of standing up
erect, you will simply "hang over." It is on this
account that even though you may neglect physical exercises for the development of all other
parts of the body, you should persistently give
attention to exercises for the back.
everything else if you must, but give a certain
part of your time each day to keeping the back



strong and vigorous, and preserving, in a perfect,
straight, elastic and normal condition, the marvelous structure which is, practically, the foundation of the bodily organism.


Long- Life Sitting Posture


have already discussed the requirements

of good posture in standing and walking.
have seen how necessary it is to keep the
spinal column in an erect, normal position.
But a correct sitting position is, in most cases,
even more important, for the reason that a large
portion of people spend the greater part of their
time sitting down. This is especially true among
those of advanced age. The first thing a man
who "feels old" wishes to do is to sit down. It is
really too much sitting, in most cases, that makes
him old. In any case, one should see to it that
the posture one assumes in sitting does not
tend to deform the spine.
And yet that is just what the ordinary sitting
posture is best calculated to accomplish. When
one thinks of the entire world sitting down improperly, upon badly constructed seats, one
wonders that our backbones are not far worse


than they are.


lies really with our chairs. The

such a commonplace object that no one
has ever seemed to think that it was necessary to
use any intelligence, or thought, in planning its
construction. The chair is intended for rest, to
relieve the strain one experiences while standing.
And yet practically all of our chairs are so made


great fault




utterly impossible to be comfortable in
They are made so as to put
an abnormal strain upon the back. Even a big,
cushiony, "easy" chair is almost as badly designed and as uncomfortable as the stiffest sitting
accommodations of the office, the church and
the school-room.
One would think that a chair would be built
according to the requirements of the human
body, that it would be so constructed as to eonform to the normal curves of the spine. If the
chair-back has any purpose whatever, it is to
support comfortably the back of the person sitting on the chair, and to do this it should fit into
the small of the back. Instead of this, however,
the chair-back comes in contact with a man's
body up in the region of the shoulders in such
a way that he cannot possibly maintain a normal
spinal posture without continuous muscular tension; and the purpose of sitting down is to relieve one of just such muscular tension and


it IS

them, or on them.


chair with a low back, extending upward

not more than ten or twelve inches and fitting
into the small of the back would be ideal. But if
a high back is desired on the chair, it should be
"tailored" to fit the normal curves of the spine.
Another common defect of the average chair is
the level seat in other words, the seat is parallel
with the floor. Because of this, the individual
sitting on the chair, if he attempts to lean back,
find himself sliding forward, and cannot remain




ideal sitting position is secured by sitting well

at the small of the

on the chair and having support

ordinary chair can b

rather than at the shoulders. An

jmade to "fit the back" if a pillow is fastened at the right
height, as in the photograph.



on the seat without continuous muscular tension
and the bracing of his feet upon the floor in front
of him. In this posture the body seems to hang,
so to speak, between the shoulders and the seat
of the chair, tending to reverse the normal forward curve in the small of the back. This is inevitably followed by the prolapsus of the lower
abdominal organs.
The reason a rocking-chair is usually more
comfortable than a straight chair is not so much
that it rocks as that the seat inclines backward
and downward. This enables one to relax when
sitting down, because there is no tendency toward sliding forward and "coasting" entirely off

For this reason the much criticized

masculine habit of tipping a chair up on the two
back legs is a source of real comfort, and is physiologically justified. For this reason also the
swivel office chair that tilts back is a source of
comfort and relaxation, even though it may not
be ideal from the standpoint of good spinal posture. To get the same kind of comfort without
tipping the chair it is only necessary to shorten
the hind legs. Saw off an inch and a half of the
back legs of any chair that you wish to experiment with, and you will at once notice an enormous difference in the comfort you get from it.
By placing a block of wood under the forward
legs the same result can be obtained.
These small devices will not, however, satisfy
the requirements of the spine. This must be
done either by having a chair specially made to

the chair.



Office chairs with low backs are now being made much more
satisfactory for good sitting posture than formerly, giving
support to the small of the back rather than to the shoulders.
The chair-back in this photograph is a little bit too high.



This is a favorite American sitting position, conducive to

cramped chests, round shoulders, bent spine, prolapsed organs
and general ill-health. This faulty position may be blamed
largely upon our badly made chairs, for one naturally tends
to slide down into this position when sitting on a chair of this

(See next photo.)

conform to your own spinal anatomy, or by

building out the chair back with a pad, or a pillow, or other support, in such a way that it will fit
into the small of your back when you sit down.
Of course, one should be able to sit erect and
in a healthful position on any bench, tree stump,
or chair. For instance, when at work at a desK




one does not desire to lean or loll back. Any

chair or seat will be suitable for such purposes,
and will permit one to maintain the erect spinal
position of standing or walking. In this erect sitting posture the head should be well up, the
chest raised, the curve of the small of the back
well marked. This will give you something in
the nature of a military bearing while seated, and
this is the correct attitude to assume when sitting
up, without using the back of the chair, whether
for active work, or for any other purpose.
To secure this military and erect position when
"sitting up" one may adopt the same movements
which I have suggested for attaining a good
standing posture. In other words, vitolysing, or
the clasping of the hands behind the head with
the elbows and head brought backward, will give
you the military bearing.
But since one usually sits down to rest, most
chairs should be so constructed that it is possible
to do this and at the same time preserve a normal
position of the spine. The seat, therefore, should
have a downward, backward incline of at least
twelve or fifteen degrees. In other words, the
back of the seat should be at least a couple of
inches lower than the front edge. In addition to
this, the chair-back should either be not more
than ten or twelve inches in height, so as to fit
well into the small of the back, or, if higher, there
should be a pad, or comfortable pillow, at the part
which meets the small of the back, of a thickness
sufficient to counterbalance the normal curve,

how an "easy chair" may be made truly easy

same time hygienic in so far as good sitting posture
is concerned.
The downward backward incline of the seat
may be accomplished either by elevating the front legs as
shown, or by sawing off the back legs. In this position one
does not slide forward on the seat. A narrow pillow is supThis illustrates


at the

plied to


the small of the back.


This position gives comfort,

and health.


which will vary with different individuals. This
permit you to sit down to rest, and at the
same time to keep the chest expanded, the head
well up and the abdominal region free from tenwill

sion or strain.
Inasmuch as you naturally hope to live a great
many decades, it is to be expected that you will
spend a total of a great many years sitting down.
On this account, you should give very careful
consideration to these suggestions, and see to
it that your sitting posture is all that may be
required for the best spinal health.


Longevity and the Sleeping Position

good posture counts for anything in its relaIFtion

to maintaining a normal spine,

certainly important.
One spends approximately one-third of one's
total of twenty-five or thirty
life in sleep.
years spent in an improper and unhealthful sleeping position must have a seriously detrimental effect upon the spine.
Take a case of lateral spinal curvature, for instance. This may be due very largely to the
habit of sleeping on one side. The real points of
support in such a case are at the hips, and at or
about the shoulders. The spinal column is suspended between these points, and in the case of
one who is weak or undernourished, especially in
the case of a "rickety" child, continued sleeping
on one side is conducive to spinal curvature
merely through the weight of the body. To turn
over and sleep on the other side will tend to
correct the curvature, again merely through the
weight of the body. Simple as it is, a case of

sleeping position


is a good example of the value of a

consideration of the subject.
Perhaps the most common of wrong sleeping
positions, however, is that in which the body
rests upon the back, with a large pillow under the
head. This naturally pushes the head forward,






and is conducive to a permanently bent spine
and round shoulders. If one is accustomed to
sleeping on the back, or if this is the favorite or
predominating position during

sleep, the pillow

means be dispensed with. Sleeping

on the back on a flat surface without a pillow,
would be conducive to good spinal position, but
should by


the position is undesirable for other reasons.

Curiously, man is the only animal that attempts to sleep on the back, the habit being
largely the result of training during infancy.
Mothers almost invariably place their babies on
their backs to sleep, and in the beginning, the
infant is unable to change its position. After
reaching the age of one or two years, however,
a large number of children spontaneously turn
over and sleep on the chest. The truth is that
sleeping on the stomach is just as natural for
the human race as for any other form of life,
and those who have tried it have usually found
it the most comfortable position.
When sleeping on the stomach, the head is
will suppose,
naturally turned to one side.
for instance, that the head is turned to the right
side. In that case, the left arm either lies straight
on the left side of the body, or it may be doubled
up at a right angle with the hand and wrist under
the waistline.
Comfort is usually found with
the right hand up near the face. When sleeping on the stomach it does not matter materially
whether one has a pillow or not, but a small
pillow is, if anything, advantageous, as it forces

























the upper part of the spine upward and backward, and is, therefore, corrective of any roundshouldered tendency. Sleeping in this position
will tend to correct a drooping and faulty posture
during one's waking hours.
When sleeping on the side a pillow is necessary
for comfort. This may be a fairly healthful and
comfortable position, providing one does not become too much doubled' up. It is a habit with
many of those who sleep on the side, especially
in cold weather, to double the head forward,
double the knees up, huddlingl together in a
greatly cramped position. The result of this
drooping and contracting of the chest is to
make free breathing difficult or impossible, and
consequently there is a lack of air just at the
time when a plentiful supply of air is most needed. The recuperative and restorative processes
of sleep are naturally dependent, in part, upon a
sufficient supply of oxygen.
The chest-lying position is extremely valuable
for the reason that the body is naturally turned
very slightly to one side or the other, depending
upon which side the face is turned to. In this
way the abdominal region is suspended in such
a way that deep, full, abdominal breathing is
easily practiced. Since diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing is the only form of breathing
used during sleep, it can be seen that this position is particularly advantageous.
With the suggestions given here, the reader
should make a study of his own sleeping position



c o

c 2








?.s S s



^ S O

bOC^ ^






=* r^ 3




and of his own requirements. Find out if you
have any form of spinal curvature, and then
adapt your sleeping posture so that the weight of
the body itself will naturally tend to correct this
curvature. If one shoulder is higher than the
other, the curvature naturally extending to the
other side, sleep on the side of the lower shoulder.
If you are round-shouldered sleep without a pillow when lying on the back, and with a pillow
when lying on the stomach. These suggestions
are simplicity itself, but they are worth the most
careful consideration and practice.


Making Ol
Bodies IfbuNG
Qhirty -EiQht Cessans
m Building Vitahtq
and Neroewrce and in
thec4rt ofPostponina
Old c4qe _^ -^ ^


Beinair Macfadden

Exercise and Keeping Young

Comprising Lessons Eight to Twelve

VIII General Exercises for Postponing Old Age,

IX Exercises For the Heart in Later Life.
Keeping the Endurance of Youth.
XI Breathing to Keep Young.
XII Massage,


General Exercises for Postponing Old
has often been said
than to rust out.


better to wear
truth is that
quickly than one will


one will rust out more


it is


A state of activity

is the normal characteristic

of youth. Inactivity is a characteristic of extreme old age. This is true in all forms of animal
life. The old dog, worn out and stiffened, seems
as little disposed to the healthy activity of his
early years as the old gentleman who has made
up his mind that he is old and who does little



around and occupy space.

One may even

say that just as soon as one

discontinues the activities of life one rapidly be-

comes old. The only way in which you can remain young in spite of the years is by keeping up
the activity that is characteristic of normal
youth, or something approaching it. You may
not be quite as spry and as nimble in certain
but to discontinue all physical activity
will necessarily bring about rapid degeneration.
Apart from exercises of a systematic nature,
all kinds of outdoor recreations and occupations
will be of infinite value. Gardening affords the

most delightful possibilities in the way of interesting and beneficial activity, and there are many
farm duties which exactly fit the status of men
who are no longer capable of violent exertion^

Illustrating the general principle by which flexibility of the

joints may be maintained.
For counteracting a tendency
toward stiffness of the joints the practice of bending and
stretching them moderately each day will keep them supple
and therefore young. Commencing with the fingers, bend
each joint in all directions as far as it will go. After the
ngers, bend the wrists, then the elbows, shoulders, toes,
ankles, knees and hips.



parts of the body not only affords strength-building

makes for suppleness. Stretch even to the fingertips with
arms extended.


exercise, but


Tightly doubling the arms, wrists and fingers is a form of

This should be part of the joint-flexing exercise
for all parts already mentioned.


but who are still able to do useful and valuable
work. Wood cutting with axe or saw can sometimes be recommended. William E. Gladstone,
called the "Grand Old Man of England," was
accustomed to enjoy cross-country walks and
wood chopping. His habit of chopping wood
he continued late in life not because he needed
the wood, but because he needed the superb quality of health which it helped him to maintain.
In a general way, however, violent exercises
are not appropriate for men much past middle

Anything that is too strenuous or violent

result in strain at any time of life, but is
more likely to do so after one passes the age of
sixty or seventy. It is true that this will depend



partly upon whether or not one has been accustomed to physical exertion of a strenuous
nature all one's life.
man accustomed all his

himself capable of withstanding strains which would be dangerous to

one who has avoided physical activitiy, and

life to athletics will find

whose tissues,
and brittle.

therefore, have




Nevertheless it is true that as a general proposition, moderation in exertion should be the

keynote of physical training after middle age.
is a very elastic one. You
regard forty to forty-five as representing
middle age, and you may feel yourself growing
old from fifty years on, or you may regard the
middle period of life as being from fifty to sixty-

The term "middle age"


five years.


Tightly doubling up like a jackknife, as above, serves to

stretch those tissues, muscles and ligaments which are not
brought into action in ordinary extension stretching. Double
yourself up as tightly as you can several times.

There is no doubt that the period of middleaged vigor, energy and all-around ability in some
cases extends far beyond the Biblical age limit of
three score years and ten. But whatever your
interpretation of the meaning of "middle age,"
it is best, if you are unmistakably past your
youth, to observe moderation in the quality of
your exercise, and to make up for it, if necessary,
in quantity.

In preceding chapters we have seen that the

exercises in advanced years are
those which tend to keep the spine straight, flexi-

more important

and normal. But in addition to the essential

spine exercises described there should be daily
exercise for the rest of the body.








The ideal exercises for extreme age are
those which make for flexibility. An elastic condition of all the tissues and of the joints of the
body is important, just as flexibility is of primary
importance in the backbone. This is not merely
because of the value of being able to bend the
joints to the limit, but because of what it means
in relation to the circulation and the health of
the tissues generally.
To keep these tissues as much alive as possible,
one must keep them supple and elastic. All
kinds of stretching and bending exercises calculated to promote this necessary flexibility are
most important for those who would avoid growing old. You should maintain mobility, or the
possibility of free motion with every joint and
every movable part of your anatomy. Quite the
best way to do this is to stretch every part thoroughly at

once each day and bend every

Such stretching and bending move-


to the limit.

ments should be applied,

fingers and toes.

if possible,

even to the

The exercises illustrated should suggest a series

of movements for the purpose. These photographs will show clearly the plan upon which
these exercises are based, together with their
purpose. You should make a study of your own
requirements and plan your own scheme of exercise. You will see that you will be able to apply this principle to every movement and to
every part of the body.
An excellent method of procedure is to start





with the finger tips. First stretch the arms far
out to the sides and stretch the fingers out. Then
proceed to bend or double up the fingers fist like,
in such a way as to put the greatest possible
stress upon the joints, that is, bending each joint
of the finger to the fullest extent possible. After
a few **loosening up" movements of the fingers
and thumb joints, you can take the next step by
proceeding to the wrist. The wrist will naturally
lend itself to bending up and down and to a revolving motion. Next, proceed to the elbows,
first stretching the arms, then bending them until
they are as tightly doubled up as possible. You
will next come to the neck, then to the trunk of
the body, then to the hips, to the knees, to the
ankles, and finally to the toes. On reaching the
trunk use special exercises for the spine, selecting from those illustrated in preceding chapters
such as your study of your own case shall have
determined to be the most suited to your requirements.
It is always best to build up your own scheme
of training rather than to foUow too rigidly the
instructions of another. You may find it advantageous however, to follow some such scheme of
general exercise as I have suggested, combined
wuth any movements that you may have found
especially adapted to your needs.


Making Old
Bodies IrbuNG
Ohirty Eight Cessans
m Building Vitalitij
and Neroewrce and in
the c4rt ofPostpon inq


and 11

Beinair Macfadden

Copyright 1919 by


New York City



Exercises for the Heart in Later Life


has been a tremendous sacrifice of

of middle age in recent years. Statistics have shown that the death rate among men
in the neighborhood of fifty to fifty-five years of
age has more than doubled in the last thirty
years. Degenerative diseases of the arteries, kidneys, the heart and the liver are responsible for
this increased mortality among men of this age.
It is just at this time of life thac the average
man really becomes most valuable to the community. At least, this applies to professional
men and brain workers. When men die off at
this age it means the loss of the best brain power
in the community, for they have reached the
period at which they are able to do better work
than ever before.
Now these degenerative diseases are very
largely the result of the stagnation and inactivity
of the average man. No man who takes a proper
amount of exercise, who does not overeat, and
who does not tax* his system with alcohol or dissipation, will develop these degenerative diseases
at this early time of life. The condition of kidney failure, or liver hardening, or heart failure,
or worn-out arteries, is not due for another thirty
or forty years. These degenerative processes are
merely old-age processes that have turned up too




man may be in many respects the picture

of health, and yet certain parts of his working


be worn out.

This wearing-out

process can be prevented by proper habits and

a normal amount of exercise.
Ordinarily one may say that there should be a
difference between the exercise a man should
take after fifty, for instance, and that which he
should take after the age of seventy, but this will
also depend upon the individual. In England
cross-country running has been a popular pastime for many generations, and the middle-aged
Englishman often takes as great an interest in
it as a boy.
In many cases it happens that a
father will start in the same race with his son.
This only goes to show that the man who has
kept up athletic activity, or continued to take
more or less exercise, may be able after fifty
to pursue the same activities as in youth. But
unless he has done this, there is a possibility of
strain through attempting unaccustomed exercise. It is better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, in most cases, the man of fifty should confine himself, at least in the beginning, to exercises that would otherwise be appropriate for the
man of seventy years or over.
Before undertaking any form of physical training it is advisable to have the heart examined.
This does not mean that one must avoid all exercise if the examination of the heart is not favorable. Even a weak heart may be strengthened in
time, but an examination is a good precaution


against the possibility of making any violent exertion when one is not fit for it.
If there is any weakness in the heart, this will
naturally prompt one to be very careful. But
even if the heart seems normal from customary
standpoints, there is still good reason to observe
a measure of caution when first taking up physical training, if you have been unaccustomed to
exercise for a good many years.
You must know that the heart, like other
organs of the body, will adapt itself to the de-

mands made upon it. A young man, on taking

up athletics, goes through a course of "training"
for the purpose of adapting the heart to sustain
violent physical efforts. Under such exercises
the heart seems to grow, strengthen and enlarge.
Such an enlarged heart is often spoken of as the
"athletic heart." This generally means that it is
larger and stronger than the heart of the ordinary man, but not that it is abnormal or unhealthy. As a rule the athlete's heart is a far better heart than that of the non-athletic man, and
extreme exertion in the case of the man who has
not thus developed his heart may result in a
strain of this organ. Remember that in longdistance running and other forms of athletics, it
is really the heart that bears the greater part of
the strain. One should not attempt such efforts
without preparing for them first, thus gradually
accustoming the system, and the heart especially,
to the work.

All this applies particularly in the case of




when, for a considerable part of their
they have neglected to take exercise. The
heart never completely rests. It is at work every
minute of one's life, but an inactive life means
comparative rest for the heart, as compared with
the demands of vigorous muscular work, or
athletics. When a man has done nothing more
strenuous than dress himself, feed himself, and
walk about a little, for a period of many years,
his heart is on a vacation so far as any strenuous
exertion is concerned. Vigorous muscular work
undertaken in such a case will have little injurover



ious effect




the muscles.



may make them

no consequence.


this is of

affect the heart seriously.^

discussing this point iri^etail because it
Enthusiasm is the
is of extreme importance.
finest thing in the world, but when one has taken
up a program of unusual physical exercise, this
enthusiasm is likely to carry one too far. Any
plan of physical training that you may adopt,
therefore, should be mapped out with a view to
gradually increasing the amount of exercise
taken. Don't walk too far the first day. Don't
repeat your exercises too many times. Start in
with the easier movements and leave the more
difficult ones for a later period.
Because of this necessity for avoiding any
strain of the heart, exercises taken in a reclining
position are often to be recommended. The mere
act of lying down has the immediate effect of
resting the heart, for physiological reasons.




being, like the human
spine, is under more strain than the heart of anyother animal, because of man's upright position.
As you know, the heart is simply a muscular
pump. In a horizontal position, like that which
is habitual in the lower forms of animal life, it
is a simple matter for the heart to pump the
blood through the arteries and veins. But man
assumes the horizontal position only upon lying
down. Upon resuming an upright position it is
necessary for his heart to force the blood upward
several feet to the height of the body. There
must be such pressure upon the blood in the
arteries as to force the blood in the veins from
the feet all the way back up to the heart. The
human heart, therefore, has a much bigger job
on its hands than that of a dog, an alligator, or a


heart of the



When the heart has been pumping a column

of blood extending from the feet up to the heart,
there is an immediate degree of rest for this central pumping station the moment one lies down.
There is even a certain degree of rest for the
heart when one is sitting down.
There is one very restful and refreshing bodily
position, dear to the hearts of all men, although
much disapproved of by their better halves.
This is the very agreeable, if unesthetic position
of sitting down on a chair with the feet placed
upon the table or desk. After all, the objection
to this position is somewhat arbitrary. There is
no question of the comfort it gives, and there are



physiological reasons for its restfulness. It affords rest for the heart, and also provides
especially well for the drainage of the blood in
the veins of the legs. In standing, these veins
are crowded with blood which is being driven
upward against the force of gravity, and are
thus under considerable tension. This tension
and strain is relieved immediately when the
legs are raised so that the veins are easily drained
through the same force of gravity. In the case
of those suffering from varicose veins, this is
especially important. Simple as it is, there is no
other measure that will so quickly give relief.
If you have been standing on your feet for a
long time, you will find relief by simply lying
down. But you will find it a great deal more
refreshing if you place the feet upon the foot of
the bed, or elevate them upon your desk or table,

when sitting down.

Coming back to the

subject of exercises while

lying down. It will be seen that inasmuch as the
heart is relieved, in this position, of much of its
ordinary labor, any muscular effort made in the
recumbent state will involve less tax upon the
heart than a similar one made while standing up.
In other words, you can perform movements of
the arms, of the legs, and of the trunk of the
body when lying down, with a comparatively
small effort on the part of your heart.
Most of us will not need to be so careful as this,
but I have gone into the point in order that
even the weakest can find methods of developing


strength. In most cases, men who have lived
to the age of sixty years or upward have pretty
good hearts; otherwise, they would never have
lived so long. Sixty years is a long stretch of
time for one organ to continue working without
a rest, so that even a weak heart must be a powerful and truly marvelous mechanism.
Make up your mind that you will not rust out.
Remember that stagnation means degeneration.
Activity is the fundamental principle of life. Be
active and you will keep health. Stagnate and
you will rust.


Keeping the Endurance of Youth

there is one supreme exercise for advanced
an exercise that is more valuable than

any other from a constituonal and health standpoint, it is walking.

If there is one form .of activity in which an old
man is capable of excelling a young man, it is


history of pedestrianism


full of the

names of men old in years, but young in body

and spirit, who have exceeded the walking records of the younger men. In many cases where

men have been

devoted to walking, or
it is a
fact that they have often been able, in their later
years, to exceed the long-distance records which
they made early in life.
This is notoriously true in the case of Edward

**hiking," as a recreation all their lives,

Weston, the famous trans-continental walker.

On his last trip from coast to coast, when past
the age of seventy, he made faster time than he
made over the same route early in life. The
same is true of Dan O'Leary, another prominent
long-distance walker.
In the field of fast walking as against transcontinental trips, "Jim" Hocking, of New York
City, is another extraordinary example of im10

proved endurance in middle age. For years
Hocking has been making walking records between New York City and Philadelphia, a distance of one hundred miles. It has long been
a popular pastime among pedestrians to attempt
to walk this distance under twenty-four hours.
It remained for Mr. Hocking to lower all records.
For years he took this walk once each year. He
first did it in twenty-four hours, then in twentythree hours, then under twenty-two and finally
in nineteen hours and sixteen minutes.
that he is past sixty years of age, he is a better
walker than ever. At sixty-two he walked from
New York to Buffalo, 405 miles, in six days and
four hours, averaging sixty-five miles a day.
Recently he filed his entry for the Yonkers
Marathon Race (Yonkers, N. Y., being a city


chiefly of steep hills and valleys)

a field of more than forty runners. He
had accounted for three-quarters of them and
was striding along in the eleventh place when
the race was called off, because of the unthankful
nature of the Thanksgiving Day weather.
These instances are illustrative of the well-established principle that while the young are capable of greater temporary activity and more violent effort than the old, yet in matters of endurance there often seems to be a distinct improvement with the advance of years.




be assumed that it
is a mistake for the young to attempt to perform
feats of endurance. They are physiologically not
this principle it






1 Jl







^H Hb^

fe^ ?^Kf^^^Afe^^^^ii^

James H. Hocking, a New York business man, superin-,

tendent of The American Radiator Co.
Walking is his
hobby. He can do sixty to sixty-five miles daily, day after
day. Photographed at the age of sixty-three.

suited to long continued and uninterrupted activity. They are better fitted for more rapid or
more lively action. In advanced years there is
perhaps lessened flexibility, although there

should not be and need not be too great a loss of

But there is a decided improvement in
the powers of endurance. Accordingly, it is never
to be marvelled at when a man of seventy walks
fifteen or twenty miles, or even twice that distance. It is just what is to be expected from the
very nature of things.
By keeping up exercise of this kind, one may
not only maintain the endurance of youth after
fifty or sixty, but may actually greatly improve
upon it, as has been demonstrated again and
again by some of these famous walkers, and by
the example of hundreds of others who have
never become famous.
The reason why walking is such splendid exercise is because it results not so much in musclebuilding as in an improvement of the constitution. Walking means not so much exercise for

the legs as exercise for the internal organs. It

means exercise for the heart and lungs. It keeps

one breathing deeply and fully, and through this

deep breathing it means the more perfect oxygenation of the blood. This means a greater
cleanliness of every tissue and every cell in the
body. Every internal organ in the body that has
to do with the making of the blood, or with
its purification, is put to extra work for a considerable period of time by a long walk.


Every time you put your muscles to work you
your internal organs. But there
are some forms of exercise which are concerned
chiefly with development of the muscles. Again

also exercise

there are exercises which do not accomplish much

in building muscular strength, but which are
especially concerned with huilding up the bloodmaking mechanism. Walking is an exercise of
this type. It is "constitutional." The same applies to hill climbing, golfing, and any form of
exercise that involves what we call endurance.
The word strength as ordinarily used means
merely the capacity for temporary exertion, the
degree of power that may be expended in a
singe effort. But this is only one form of strength.
It depends chiefly upon powerful muscles. But
the capacity for repeated or continuous effort is
equally a form of strength and is more important
than the capacity for great temporary exertion.
It depends more upon the condition and quality
of the blood, and the health and vigor of the
organs which supply, purify and oxygenate that
blood, than upon muscular power.
Exercises of endurance are pre-eminently,
therefore, constitutional exercises, and are even
more important than those that build muscular
Exercises of this sort are walking,
horseback riding, golfing and cycling, and a certain amount of such activity is necessary to the
maintenance of a normal state of health and
vigor. And do not forget that the best of these
exercises is walking.




an example of Mr. Hocking's heel and toe stride.

explains why he is able to cover five* and six miles
an hour, continuing hour after hour,

The photo



No one can deteriorate and die of degenerative
disease in middle age, if he persistently exercises
his internal structures by such constitutional activities. By this means he keeps the heart, lungs,
liver, kidneys and all of the other organs of the
body properly toned up, or tuned up, and thereby retains the healthy and generally vigorous
condition characteristic of youth.
Golfing is especially appropriate for men of
middle age and upward. It necessitates a great
deal of walking, and much of this walking is
likely to be up and down hill. Walking up hill
is, first of all, exercise for the heart, and serves
as a general stimulant for all of the other organs
that are concerned in any way with maintaining
the quality and strength-building character of
Added to this, there is a certain
the blood.
amount of real spine activity in the peculiar twist
that accompanies the swing of the golf club.
Golf would be a much better game if one had to
hit the ball more often. It is good as it is, but it
would help more effectively to take the kinks out
of the spine and to keep it elastic if one had to
do more "batting." It may be suggested, therefore, that the golf player should practice the
swing of the golf stick a great deal, even when
he is not striking at the ball itself. It is good
for the backbone as well as helpful in maintaining suppleness of the joints and muscles generally.



an exercise that may seem

long exclusively to the period of youth.


to beIt


practice more characteristic of youth than of
age, and yet if this exercise of the young were
to be continued up through the years of middle
age, it would help to postpone the condition of
age, irrespective of one's years.
Running is an exercise the speed and violence

of which can be graduated according fta the^

strength and desire of the individual. Running
may be an exceedingly violent effort, or it may
be so mild that it is even less of an exertion than
hard, fast walking. Indeed, if you wish to attempt fast walking, a little gentle running would
be the best way in which to train yourself for
that purpose, because the speed and effort of
running may be graduated nicely according to
the progress of one's training.
great many men of naturally vigorous, energetic make-up find that walking is just a little
bit slow for real strength-building exercise. It
lacks that quality of a little extra effort which
makes it seem like exercise. This exertion can be
secured by running a small part of the distance
which one ordinarily covers in the daily walk. In
beginning to run do not forget the need for
caution in the matter of suddenly placing upon
the heart an unaccustomed strain. Commence
with a small effort and increase the amount of
exercise by easy stages. For instance, in the beginning you can run for half a block at
walk, then
a speed not greater than a
you can run an entire block at the same
speed, or at a speed very slightly increased^



After you have reached what one may call a fair
dog-trot you may find it better not to increase
the speed, but rather to run a little further. In
this way, there will be no disastrous after-effects.
Never force yourself to fun when it seems too
great an exertion. There is no fun in any form
of exercise when it becomes "too much like
work." You may depend upon it, your exercise
is doing you good just as long as you enjoy it.
In suggesting the value of running I do not
mean to imply that it is good in all cases. Much
depends upon the individual. The light-boned
man, of small frame, weighing one hundred and
twenty pounds, can run with very little effort.
It may be very easy for him to cover one or two
miles. But the big man, with heavy bones, and
with a weight of a couple of hundred pounds,
will find running a big effort, and a very little
of it, in his case, will go a long way physiologically, if not geographically. Hard and fast rules
cannot be laid down. Every one should be guided

by the

rules that suit his individual requirements.

In many

cases, however, a little run of a quarter

or more, taken in conjunction with a
of a
walk of several miles, will help greatly in maintaining that sound physical condition and that
youthfulness of the arteries and of all of the
organs of the body which means the retention
of youth.
remarkable instance of the possibility of
running in advanced age and of maintaining the
health and strength of youth through this exer-


found in the case of Colonel James P*
Smith of Detroit, Michigan. At the present writing, Colonel Smith is seventy-four years- old and
can run a ten-mile Marathon like a younv man*
He caA run a mile in five-forty, and if you do
cise, is

not think that fairly good, just try a quarter mile

at the same speed, or, in other words, a quarter
mile in one minute and twenty-five seconds.
Colonel smith is a Civil War veteran, and has offered to race any twenty other Civil War veterans
at a convention of the G. A. R., in a five-mile
race -each of the twenty to run in relays of a
quarter of a mile, and Colonel Smith to run the
entire five miles. He has taken part in many
races of the same character.
The main point of the story is the effect of
long-distance running in restoring Colonel Smith
to health. Twenty years ago he consulted his
physician in regard to his health, and was told
promptly that he had reached the letting-up period of life and that the various symptoms of
which he had complained were to be expected at
this time of life. To deteriorate in this way, it
seemed, was the natural order of things, and
Colonel Smith was told to "take things as easy
as possible," to avoid any violent exercise, in
other words, to die as rapidly as possible. Colonel
Smith did not accept the judgment, for he had
a "hunch'"* that a man at his age ought to be as
good a man as ever. The feeling that he would
give almost anything to be able to run and jump
like a young man made him think that the only



Col. James P. Smith, Detroit, Mich., a Civil War veteran

Photographed at the age of seventy-four. He keeps young
by five and ten mile runs.




which to attain that end was to practice

running. He tried it. At first he was quickly

winded, but as he persisted he found out that
he could run more easily and cover a greater distance. He found that he was feeling better, that
he could assimilate his food more easily, that he
could sleep better, and that in every way he was
feeling younger and more vigorous than before.
He kept up this program until he could run
many miles without forced effort or distress.
Alarmed by the complaints of his family, and
threatened with disaster by his physician. Colonel Smith stopped running after a time. Feeling his health deteriorate and noting the former
symptoms of advancing age asserting themselves,
the Colonel ultimately disregarded the opinions
and advice of every one and returned to his longdistance running. His health immediately began
again to improve, and now, at the age of seventyfour, he is, in every respect, an example of health.
He has the normal heart-beat, the normal pulse,
and can easily participate in the energetic activities of a young man.
It may be that there are some not so well
adapted, by bodily build and strength, to running, as Colonel Smith is, but his case is an admirable illustration of the value of exercise in
advanced age, as a means of keeping young.
Study your own make-up, your present
strength, your constitutional requirements, and
form your plans for exercise accordingly. It may
be that golf is the best thing in your case; it



be that long walks will suit your purpose,

especially if they be supplemented by spine and
other stretching exercises.
But on the other
hand, it is quite likely that just a little running,

combined with other



may be

a help.

Breathing to Keep



any form of muscular eflPort

compels deep breathing, and although normally one's breathing apparatus tends to adjust
itself automatically to the requirements of the
body, nevertheless special attention to the practice of habitual deep breathing always gives one
a higher degree of health and strength. To realize the importance of developing the lungs and of
deep breathing, you need only consider that
oxygen is the very first requirement of life. The
need is continuous and imperative. You cannot
live a minute without oxygen. Therefore it is
easy to understand that deep breathing as a habit
will give one more energy and vitality.
Shallow breathing is an almost universal habit,
and with advancing years the condition tends to
become more pronounced. With the increasing
inactivity, and, perhaps, stiffness, of coming age,
a man tends to take less and less air into his
lungs. This, like the bending of the spine, is one
of the things he should fight against as he grows
older. It is difficult to maintain health and youth
under such conditions, and as the breathing be-

comes more and more shallow, one arrives in

time at a condition of practical oxygen starvation.

The only way



a habit of deep breath-




exhalation in diaphragmatic or .abdominal

chest is not moved, the stomach being drawn
in with the exhalation of air.




This shows the expansion of the body at the waistline and

abdominal region as a result of inhalation through
diaphragmatic breathing. The chest does not move. This is
"deep breathing" in the true sense. Learn it and practice it.

in the



ing is to think about it and practice it consciously
at certain times of the day, according to schedule.
If you take in deep full breaths a great many
times, morning, noon and night, or at certain
times during the day, your lungs will become
accustomed to expanding and taking in a full
supply of oxygen. Also your lungs will maintain
the healthy and elastic condition that will make
deep breathing a pleasure.
You should learn and cultivate diaphragmatic
breathing, because this brings the air deep into
the lower cells of the lungs. In diaphragmatic
breathing, the diaphragm presses downward,
making room for the incoming air supply. This
means the expansion of the body at the waistline
and to the abdominal regions. Place your hand
at the waistline and feel this expansion as you
draw the air far down into the lungs. As soon
as you find that you seem to inhale a gallon of

through this abdominal expansion alone, you

be satisfied that you have mastered the use
of your diaphragm.
One of the best methods of cultivating the
habit of deep breathing is to engage in rhythmic
breathing when taking a long walk. Everything
that one may do upon this earth will be more
effective if done in rhythm. This is applicable
to many forms of exercise, but particularly to
breathing. Ehythmic breathing is accomplished
by inhaling deeply while taking a certain number
of steps. Inhale during six or eight steps, and
then exhale during the next six or eight steps.



To make sure of proper diaphragmatic action in breathing,

place the hands on the sides and back at the waistline. The
expansion of the body not only takes place in the abdomen,
but backward and outward at the sides. In correct diaphragmatic breathing you will be able to feel this expansion
in back and sides with your hands. When you have acquired
voluntary control you will be able to breathe correctly without using your hands to feel the expansion.


Often four


steps, or ten steps, or twelve steps,

Inhale through the nose and exhale the same way. You can be sure that just
as soon as you can walk five or ten miles without becoming unduly tired, practicing this rhythmic breathing during the entire walk, you will
have acquired a condition of health and vigor
that even a young man might be proud of. This
may seem an impossible goal in the beginning,
but for an elderly man in good health, five or
ten miles is anything but a big job.
Although the diaphragmatic method of breathing is the normal and proper one, yet a certain
amount of chest breathing is to be recommended
for the reason given in my discussion of flexibility of the spine. The capacity for moving the
ribs, as reflected in the chest expansion, means
a cetrain flexibility of the spinal column, because
the ribs are attached to the spinal vertebrae. Stiff
and immovable ribs mean a stiff spine. Flexibility of the chest means a flexible, elastic and
youthful spine. Therefore the ribs should be
thoroughly 'exercised," so to speak, each day,
by so expanding the chest as to bring the air up
into the topmost parts of the lungs. In other
words, chest breathing exercise is valuable for
two reasons the oxygen which it supplies to the
body and the beneficial effect upon the spine.
Apart from the deep breathing exercises that
you may take upon your walks, you should follow a program of deep breathing at certain times
during the day. I may suggest that you establish
suit one.


An example of the fullest possible inhalation, inhaling first'

diaphragmatically and then filling the upper parts of the
lungs by expanding the chest, thus filling the lungs to the
maximum. The photo shows a beautiful eaxmple_of chest


the practice of deep breathing upon rising, before
retiring and both before and after meals. Usually it is best to do your deep breathing before an
open window, if you are indoors, though the
deep breathing exercises on rising and retiring
may just as well be done while lying down
in bed. It is assumed that you are in the habit of
sleeping with your windows open, and that you
wlQ have the best quality of air obtainable.


Mmcing Old
Ohirty -Eight Lessons
Buildinq Vital it if
and Neroe wrce and in
thec4rt of Postponina








Massage Helps to Prolong Youth

a substitute for exercise which

be regarded as a form of


exercise, and which may be employed with benein many cases in which it is impossible to engage in real muscular activity.
This substitute is massage.

In many cases of illness, or of injury, massage

can be used upon those parts of the body not
actually involved in the injury, so as to maintain
circulation and strength while the victim is convalescing.
Otherwise the muscles will waste
away while one is on one's back, and in the case
of extreme age, where one is too feeble for much
active exercise, massage is available as a means
of maintaining good circulation, strength and
In the case of a healthy man or woman it should
be said that massage cannot entirely take the
place of exercise. It cannot supply the active,
strength-giving qualities of the latter, but even in
this case, it will be helpful as a supplement to

Massage consists of a kneading or manipulating of the muscles and tissues in such a way as
relieve stiffness, promote elasticity, and
especially to increase circulation. Improved circulation is really the chief purpose, and it must




be noted that if good circulation is maintained,
health of the tissues involved will follow as a matter of course. The cells will be supplied with new
building material, waste and dead matter will be
carried off by the blood, and this will help keep
the tissues strong and elastic.
Massage tends to increase circulation, because
by the compression or squeezing of the tissues involved the blood is forced, not only out of the
larger blood-vessels, but even out of the tiny
capillaries, while with the next instant of relaxation, a new supply of arterial blood pours into
them. This is again forced on its way, with the
acquired waste matter and impurities, by the
next compression, or massage stroke. The increased circulation has a refreshing effect upon
any part of the body subjected to its influence.
Every child knows the value of rubbing a sore
and stiffened muscle. Massage is a scientific development of "rubbing."

The truth is that massage is sometimes even

more important than sleep as a means of relieving extreme muscular fatigue. Massage will
truly rest one more quickly than anything else,
under certain conditions. Muscular fatigue results simply from the choking up of the muscle
cells with the waste matter produced through the
work that has been done. In all muscular effort
the cells are broken down, to a certain extent,
and the muscles are clogged with the fatigue
poisons produced. When these wastes have accumulated to such an extent that they make it



or impossible to continue using the mus-

we have what is known as fatigue*

The muscles become stiff and sore, owing to the
cles concerned,

presence of poisonous wastes. Now if you go to

sleep, the slow circulation of the blood during
repose will in time remove the wastes, and
you will wake up refreshed, though, perhaps,
still somewhat stiff.
But massage, by mechan*
ically increasing the circulation through the
muscles involved, will result in a rapid removal
from the tissues of these poisonous wastes, and
will thus relieve stiffness and soreness more
quickly than sleep.
It is well known that after continued muscular
exertion has produced such extreme fatigue that
one is practically unable to move the muscles
concerned the application of massage has such a
restoring and refreshing effect that it is possible
to repeat and sometimes even to excel the previous effort. This has been found true in experiments with athletes and also in animal experimentation notably with frogs.
This will explain why athletes take a rub-down
T^oth before and after a hard race, or a boxing
There are two kinds of fatigue. One involves
nervous exhaustion, the other is the result of
accumulated waste products. Only sleep can
restore the exhausted nerve cells, but massage
will provide rest so far as the removal of the
fatigue poisons is concerned.
In any case of muscular stiffness following ex-



a hot bath, or a local application of hot
Try the
is always to be recommended.
hot bath followed by massage
will literally work miracles in relieving stiffness


and soreness.

Where the strength is limited, massage will

enable one to get much of the same benefit that
Thereis acquired in ordinary muscular effort.
fore a little masage on going to bed, on arising,
or at any time that one may feel like it, will be
beneficial. One may use cocoa butter, or olive
oil, in connection with it, but this is chiefly for its
effect upon the skin itself, if it is dry. One really
does not need anything but the bare hands.
If one can enjoy the services of a professional
masseur, that will simplify matters. Sometimes
another member of the family, who is "handy" in
such things, may be available. If no such assistance is to be had, it is still possible for one to
administer self-massage. You need not be an
expert in order to get good results, although it
is always best to understand the fundamental
principles. For instance, to improve the circulation it is desirable that the blood in the veins
should be helped on its way to the heart. For this
reason, where the limbs are concerned, it is
advisable always to make all massage movements
upward, or toward the heart.
Where the legs are concerned, it is well that
they should be elevated while the subject lies on
his back, for this position will naturally help the


drainage of the blood in the veins, through the
force of gravity. This, in itself, is restful.
The chief types of massage movements consist of stroking, kneading, circular movements,
tapping, or percussion, and vibration.
technical names for these general types of massage are: Effleurage, including the stroking
movements; Petrissage, including the kneading
movements Friction, as the circular movements
are called; Tapotement, applied to the tapping
or percussion movements; and Vibration, which
is self-explanatory.
Vibration is largely applied by mechanical devices that impart a
shaking or vibratory impulse, but it may be applied by the hands. Effleurage, or stroking, is
applied chiefly to the surface tissues, though a
certain quality of kneading may be imparted to
it by the application of sufficient pressure.
stroking movements are very nerve soothing.
Petrissage is more effective for the deeper tissues. All of these kneading movements are best
applied, not by pinching with the thumb and
finger points, but by a movement which involves
the entire palm of the hand. In other, words,
the flesh should be taken hold of by the entire
hand and gently compressed between the fingers
and palm of the hand. In massaging the arms,
for instance, take hold at the wrist with the entire
hand, not using the thumb, and after a light,
firm grip, move the hand up half an inch, gripping again. Go up the arm in this manner
and then repeat. In massaging another person,



one can take hold of the arm on both sides, pressit in the same way.
It is important not to apply massage too
strenuously. It is not a case of "giving strength"
bj^ applying the strength of the operator.
vigorous pinching in the application of massage
will bruise the tissues and may do more harm
than good. It is a gentle but moderately firm
grip, one which is entirely comfortable and enjoyable, that will produce the most beneficial
results. In other words, a "strong" man has no
advantage as a masseur.
Friction consists, as we have said, of the simple
circular movements, and is extremely valuable
for the surface tissues. It is the best type for application at the spine, knees, elbows, ankles and
other joints, and also for massage of the scalp

of the head.

Tapotement, including tapping or percussion,

valuable for reaching the deeper tissues. It
can be done lightly with the finger tips, or more
vigorously by "chopping" with the outer edges
of the straight hands, or even by a gentle pounding with the doubled fists.
Self-massage may best be applied by jommencing with the feet and legs, first massaging one
foot by kneading and friction, then proceeding
up the calf of the leg with kneading and stroking,
then doing the same with the thigh.
treatment for the thigh is a movement in which
the flesh is rolled between the two hands. After
completing both legs in this manner, the arms



^H ''^H^^^^^^^^i




may be taken up,

starting with a general rubbing

of the hands, then proceeding from the wrist of
one arm up to the elbow with kneading and
stroking, then up the upper arm the same way,
commencing again on the wrist of the other
hand. Next comes the trunk of the body. For
the region from the chest down to the waistline
both the kneading and circular movements are
effective. For the abdominal region deep kneading is best, and is most effectively done while lying on the back, though it may be done while sitting on a chair in a relaxed position.
circular movement with the doubled fist is very
effective as a constipation treatment, especially
if the movement is made upward on the left
side, across, and downward on the right.
percussion treatment may be applied to the legs
and even to the trunk, but care must be taken
not to use it where there is any tenderness.
In attempting self-massage of the back,
one will naturally meet with some difficulty. The
hips may be treated by kneading and percussion. The lower back can best be treated by percussion and circular movements, while the
shoulders and upper back may be massaged by
friction and a certain amount of kneading. But
the best plan for the whole back is an application
of massage through vigorous rubbing with a
large Turkish bath towel. If you rub across the
back, and up and down, from each shoulder,
very good results indeed may be secured.
That it is not at all natural for man to be shod


manner is a proposition which
everyone, probably, will accept without argument. The savage man went barefoot, or almost
barefoot, except when the climate made* it necessary for him to protect his- feet from the cold, and
in his present

this habit


have been more closely related to

than we have been in the habit

his physical vigor

of thinking.



the stimulating sensation that

as in bathing, or
upon other occasions when we are permitted to
return to Nature, and it is probable that this feeling of exhilaration is but the expression of a
beneficial effect upon the whole organism. In
the present state of civilization opportunities for
discarding our footgear must unfortunately be
few, but it is possible to secure the tonic effect
of the practice by other means.

comes from going barefoot,

The method by which this can be done was

brought to my attention by a man who was not
far from seventy years of age, but whose general
appearance hands, features, .etc. would not
have suggested, despite his white hair, that he
was more than forty or forty-five. For several
years it had been his practice, before going to
bed at night, to soak his feet for about five minnot cold water (about 70 degrees
utes in cool
V. and then to rub the dead skin from them with
his bare hands. He took first one foot from the
water, and, without drying it, rubbed the bottom
until the moisture had all evaporated. By this
time the foot was sticky, owing to the dead skin



and other substances that had been loosened by
the friction. He then wet his hands again and
continued the rubbing until everything removable had been rubbed off. When this was done
the process was repeated with the other foot.
The material rubbed off was saved and analyzed,
and was found to be exactly similar to dried bone.
trial of this practice for a few weeks will
convince anyone that it is worth while. If you
are nervous it will quiet you, and if you are tired
it will rest you.
But these temporary effects are
probably not its most valuable ones. It is a wellknown fact that a large amount of the waste of
the body seeks elimination through the feet.
have evidence of this in the tendency of the' tissue
between the toes to become easily inflamed, and
also in the strong unpleasant odor that issues
from the feet if they are not washed frequently.
I have* never heard of an active person who was
in the habit of going bareooted who suffered with
rheumatism, gout, hardened arteries and other
senile complaints.
Therefore it seems reasonable to conclude that at least some of the impurities that cause these conditions are eliminated
through the soles of the feet.
know that one
of the features of old age is the hardening of the
cartilaginous tissues of the body, and the fact
that the material rubbed from the feet of the
old man mentioned above resembled ground
bone, suggests the possibility that some of the
elements that produce this change are capable
of elimination through the pedal extremities.




The practice described is certainly well worth
a trial, as a means of retaining youth, but will
not give results unless it is carried out with vigor.
The feet must be rubbed until they are entirely
dry, and then rubbed again with wet hands until
all moisture has again disappeared.


Making Olb
Bodies M)UNG
OhirtyEiQht Lessons

Dujldinq Vital itij

and NerOe Force and in

the c4rt ofPostpon inq
Old c4ae


13 and 14

Be) nan



Part Three

Keeping Internally Clean

Comprising Lessons Thirteen to Eighteen


A Man Is As Old As His Stomach.

A Method of Cleansing the Stomach.

XV. How

We Are Poisoned in Old Age.

XVI. The Quintessence


of Fletcherism.

How Colon Cleansing Is Attained.


Methods of Cleansing the

mentary Canal.

CI. A 5 701)03




A Man

Is as




His Stomaich

man from
repaired and maintained by

birth to death


is built,

the activities of
the stomach, and the quality of the man largely
depends upon the quality of his digestion.
well built and well repaired machine will last
longer than a poorly built one, and just as surely
will the body that is well built and repaired by a
sound and well-cared-for stomach last longer
than one which is less well built and cared for.
Long life and a vigorous old age are perhaps
more dependent upon a good digestion than upon
any other single factor.
These statements are quite obvious and indisputable, but there are widely different ideas as
to .what constitutes a good digestion and how it
should be cared for. Gravest of the popular
errors concerning the stomach is that its efficiency is to be judged by the abuse that it will
stand. The stomach that will dispose of a large
quantity of food, or digest foods that are difficult
to digest, may be called a **strong'' stomach; but
such a stomach may be the very cause of its
owner's filling an untimely grave. This sort of
digestive strength invites abuse, if not checked


intelligent restraint,

will result either in a

and such continued abuse

premature breakdown of


the digestive apparatus itself, or in a continued
over-digestion that will break down the kidneys
or liver, or cause obesity, rheumatism, dropsy, or
The stomach that will contribute to long life is
the one that will send forth the call of appetite
for only the kind and quantity of food needed to
maintain and prolong life. The happy medium
of stomach power is perhaps the safest one a man
can have.
strong stomach, the kind that will
stand abuse, would seem, if never abused, the
more desirable, for there would always be a reserve power of digestion. But in practice we are
all creatures of appetite, and few of us can fully
control our food intake by purely intellectual
guidance. It is for this reason that the man who
is dyspeptically inclined so often outlives his
neighbor with the lusty appetite. The weak digestion may be troublesome, but it must be carefully handled, and so may outlast the strong.
The digestion that is too weak to supply the vital
needs of the body is much more rare than the
strong stomach which, if not held in check, will
overstock the body with food elements and bring
on all manner of disease.

That the stomachs that overdo their work outthose that underdo it is explained by
the changes brought about by civilized life. Under the crude conditions of savage life, and even
among the laboring population in a civilized community, a greater power of digestion is required
to maintain life than is requisite for a brain- work-


ing populaton. For ths reason most of us have
inherited greater digestive powers and appetites
than we need to maintain the less active hfe we
now lead. Natural instincts, if followed, should
adjust our appetites and food intake to the
changed condition of our activities but civilized
customs and eating habits all conspire to thwart
these instincts, and we continue to eat "savage"
meals in a civilized environment. The diseases
of civilization are the result.
There is often a decline, also, in our activities
from youth to middle age. Part of this reduction
is due to the natural decline of vigor with advancing years, but it is often largely due to the
fact that the young man has made his living by
hard physical labor, and with an increase of prosperity and brain power has worked into more
sedentery occupations. Many American business
men start life on the farm, or in the factory, and
later remove to the city, or to the office. Proud
of the strength and appetite of their youth, they
continue the eating habits adapted to strenuous
physical activity. All goes well for a time; but
at forty or fifty they suffer a breakdown which
they lay to the worries and cares of business,
when in reality it is due to catering to the strong
appetite and ample eating habits developed in
man driving an automobile up a steep
hill opens the throttle to give the engine more
fuel if he then comes out on a piece of smooth
level road and fails to shut off the surplus fuel
we call him a foolish driver. Yet that is the


kind of driving that most business men do with
their physical machines.
But the example of the automobile is not a
perfect one, for the human machine is more comcertain amount of energy is required
to maintain it on a level road, nor can we shut
cannot get
off all fuel and coast down hill.
rid of our muscles, even though our machine
civilization were so perfect that they were hardly
needed at all. For this reason some physical
activity must be maintained by sports and exercises, even though our work be purely mental.
^Food must be reduced with lessened activity, yet
there must be a sufficient activity 16 utilize sufficient food to keep up a moderate appetite.
Without such activity and such appetite the
stomach grows too weak from disuse to supply
the proper nutriment for the body's internal ac-




of the greatest errors that can be made

to try to bolster up declining digestive powers
with any of the numerous so-called aids to digestion. While it is foolish to tax a weakening
digestive power with excessive quantites of food,
or to eat foods known to be hard to digest, yet
the stomach can no more maintain its power
when relieved of its duties than can the muscles.
The simplest and plainest of foods taken in small
quantities is the correct remedy for a weakened
digestion. Many of the so-called aids to digestion do not aid but injure the digestive powers.
All medicines, distilled liquors, bitters and cor6

come in this class, and while they are never
of real use they are certainly more dangerous for
the old than for those in the prime of life. Appetizers in the form of highly seasoned foods
must also be classed as injurious "digestive aids."
There is no real appetizer except physical activity and general good health.
As the body's need for food decreases there is
a corresponding decrease in the secretion of gastric juice. This fact leads to weakened digestion
in the stomach, which physicians often attempt to
counteract by the use of artificial pepsin. The
use of such an aid may temporarily increase digestive powers, but just as surely as it does there
will result further decrease in the natural secredials

Such an effort is very like an effort to increase muscular power by riding instead of walking, the surest way to destroy what power re-


Predigested foods are a double delusion. In
the first place, little actual predigestion is possible by artificial means. In the next, predigested
foods, in so far as they live up to their claims,
must be classed as digestive crutches and defeat the end sought, because they weaken the
natural digestive powers. There are, however,
a few good wholesome and easily digested foods
that are sometimes called predigested. Chief of
these are malted products, such as malted milks,
which should not, because of the similarity of
names, be confused with alcoholic drinks made

from malt.


Except in abnormal cases due to accidents, or
acute illness, the body rarely needs nourishment
that cannot be supplied by its own digestive powers, and where these are weakened the remedy is
to be found in the careful adjustment of the diet
to the actual needs of the body and the careful
selection of foods that are naturally easy of digestion. All artificial aids to digestion should be
carefully avoided by those who would reach a
ripe and normal old age. The greatest natural
aid to digestion is physical action. This not only
helps to create a healthy appetite by increasing
the demand for food, but it facilitates the process
of digestion, which is partly muscular and partly
The digestive tract from mouth to colon is a
tube with muscular walls. These muscles are in
constant activity, agitating the food so that it
may be thoroughly mixed with the chemical elements of the digestive juices, and moving it
along the digestive tract at a proper speed.

man who wants

to dissolve sugar in his coffee

the mixture with a spoon. The chemist who

in a flask agitates the


would hasten the reaction




same process the

facilitate the

digestive muscles
chemical action of digestion. All

muscular activity is related and controlled by

the muscular tone of the whole organism. General


idleness, therefore, results in


paired digestive activity and the congestion of

the food, particularly in the colon. This is one

of the causes contributing to constipation, which
mothers a brood of diseases.
The weakenening digestive power of advancing age must, therefore, be remedied both by the
control of the kind and quality of the food eaten
and by the control of the bodily activities. Men

who have saved themselves from premature

aging and attained a healthy and ripe old age
usually attribute it either to the taking up of
physical activity, or to the control of the diet.

Both are desirable and essential means towards

the same end, and only by the adoption of both
measures can the best results be obtained.

When many causes

contribute to the same end

are prone to single out one of them and
ascribe to it all virtue. Many factors contribute
to early aging and premature death, and hence
there are many cures for old age. When one adopts a single one of these measures and
achieves marked results thereby he proclaims it
as a panecea for all the ills of advancing years.
In truth, it is likely that such individuals, by
good fortune, have hit upon the one remedy which
was most needed in their own case, and hence
have gained satisfactory results. But in other
cases this single remedy often fails to bring similar results, for in the other cases some other need
may have been greater. It is, however, impossible to over-emphasize the importance of the activity of the stomach in the preservation of the
powers of youth. It is vital, and through the control of diet and digestion the average length of



may be increased many years. The question
intimately related also to all other phases of
youth prolongation. With this factor intelligently controlled much may be achieved. Without


it all


may prove futile.


just as the digestion is but one of many

phases of life prolongation, so there are many
phases in the care of the digestion. The stomach
is a hidden organ over which the intelligence has
little direct control. Its powers must, therefore,

be guarded indirectly.





intelligent regulation of the kind



eat and the intervals at which we eat it, and second, by intelligent
regulation of those activities of the digestive tube
which are subject to the control of the mind,
namely mastication and elimination. In old age
both the powers of mastication and of the expulsion of waste from the colon are apt to decline, and extra care is, therefore, needed to
maintain their activity.
All of the elements in the preservation of the
digestive and nutritive activities are so important

quantity of the food that

as to merit full discussion in the chapters

are to follow.




A Method of Cleaning the Stomach

of the stomach
the health
THE importancephysical
organism cannot be

of the entire
too greatly emphasized. In it the blood-making
process begins. Mistakes in eating, either in
quantity or quality, or any interference with
stomachic digestion, materially affect one's enTherefore, the importance of
tire organism.
maintaining the stomach in a superior condition
of health cannot be overestimated.
Our unnatural mode of life, our ability to
satisfy our desire for food at frequent intervals,
often makes us slaves to an abnormal appetite,

and consequently we experience unpleasant

symptoms in the stomach. We often have a
coated tongue, foul breath and other signs of
dietetic evil.

Now I will here suggest a means of cleansing

the stomach that is new to this generation, at
least in adult life, but which is a reversion to
methods that must have been instinctive with
us at all ages during former generations. TKe
average baby possesses the power to which I refer, and if we were able to continue using this
method of avoiding stomach-stuffing during our
entire lives, it would be greatly to our advantage.
The method I refer to is termed emesis. Some


few are able to thus cleanse the stomach without
the sickness and nausea ordinarily associated with
vomiting; but with or without nausea, it is advantageous whenever there is need of ridding the
system of an oversupply of nourishment.
are entirely too fastidious in our attitude
towards this method of relieving the stomach.
Whenever we experience nausea, we usually resort to some remedy to allay the stomach's desire
to relieve itslf The proper method in nearly all
cases is to encourage stomachic inclinations of
this sort by drinking a large quantity of lukewarm water.
Not only does this treatment aid the stomach
in securing relief, but any associated unpleasantness is greatly lessened.
Whenever a baby is overfed, he will eject the
oversupply without symptoms of nausea. This


is as it should be.
This is a power which we
should possess throughout our entire lives; that
IS, we should be able to eject any part of a meal
that we have eaten which is beyond our requirements, without unpleasantness.
I am acquainted with a remarkable man, now
in his seventies, who swallows two or three
glasses of water each morning, and proceeds
immediately to eject it from his stomach with
apparently about the same ease that he would
throw it from his mouth. This stomacjtrwashing
process, in his case, has greatly assisted him in
retaining the youthful powers that he possesses.
In fact, this habit of washing the stomach out


immediately on rising each morning is invaluable
as a means of promoting longevity. If the stomach cannot be made to eject its contents without
nausea, then, of course, the process is not nearly
so valuable. It is just as valuable, however, in
all cases where there is serious need of cleansing
the stomach. It is needful when you have eaten
beyond your digestive capacity. It is invaluable
when you have been tempted to eat a meal withmeal eaten under such circumout appetite.
stances should be ejected. Though a certain
amount of the nourishment taken in this way
may be assimilated, it is always liable to cause

more or less serious nature. If done

must result in disease.
This method of cleansing the stomach was first
called to my attention by an herb doctor in England. The emesis treatment, as he termed it, con-

trouble of a


a large part of his regime for curing

He properly maintained that disease
begins in the stomach, and that if this organ is
properly cleansed and made to perform its duties, the process of cure will proceed rapidly.
At first I was but slightly interested in the
emesis treatment, but after seeing two cases that
had been under my care for a considerable time
recover rapidly under its influence, I awoke to its


The English practitioner required the patient

to fast for two or more days, and at the completion of this fast the stomach was cleansed very
thoroughly with concoctions of herbs.



was used in profuse quantities, changing
from the herbs having astringent qualities to
those having a relaxing influence on the tissues.
After waiting an appropriate time for these herbs
to act, he would give a glass or two of an herb
that would act as an emetic, and the awakening
of the stomachic functions that would result in
some cases was truly extraordinary. Large

quantities of foul-smelling, partly solid elements

would often be ejected from the stomach.

Following this strenuous treatment, the patient

would be put on a very limited

diet, the quantity

being gradually increased until he was consuming the normal amount of food.
Now I am not in a position to state that the
herb teas taken under these circumstances were
without value, but I am of the opinion that the
principal benefit resulting from the treatment

was the extraordinarily stimulating



the stomachic functions of the hot water. The

relaxing and astringent influences of the herbs
doubtless awakened the stomachic glands to an
unusual degree, but we can obtain, at least, a
similar influence thru the use of hot and lukewarm water.
This stomach-cleansing process is recommended whenever the breath is foul, or the tongue is
coated, or whenever you have been guilty of
overeating. You rise from a meal convinced
that you have eaten beyond your need. Immediately take a quantity of hot water and eject
the meal. It will be much better for your health


than the retention of food that you do not need.
It is naturally better to avoid a meal when it is
not needed, but when your appetite becomes uncontrollable, here is your remedy.
When you are attempting to cleanse the stomach in the manner mentioned, from one to two
quarts of water should be taken, beginning with
very hot water and ending at a lukewarm temperature.
If you cannot induce the stomach to eject its
contents by this means, you will have to adopt
the old method of tickling the throat with two
This method of forcing the activity
of the ejectatory functions of the stomach will

always be effective, and must be continued until

the stomach fully and completely cleanses itself.
The remedy is not a pleastant one, but it is a
thousand times better than to allow superfluous
food to remain in the stomach, poisoning the
body thruout its every part.


Making Old

Bodies l:biiiNG
Ghirty -Eiqht Lessons
in Buildina VitalitLj
and Neroewrce and in
the c4rt ofPostpon inq







and 17


Bernair Macfaclden


How We

Are Poisoned


Old Age

ABOUT ten years ago Eli Metchnikoff, then

at the head of the Pasteur Institute in Paris,
wrote a book entitled The Prolongation of
The remarkable theories set forth and
the prominent name of the author, who was recognized as the world's greatest bacteriologist,
caused this book to attract wide attention.
Metchnikoff was not content, as is the unscientific mind, to accept old age and its attendant
weakness and diseases as an uncaused phenomenon, but sought after the physiologic causes of

and bodily decay. The greatest of these

he found to be in slow poisoning of the body

through the absorption of poisonous substances
from the colon, or large intestine. This scientist
pointed out that civilized man retains the feces,
or digestive waste, longer in the intestine than
is the case with most animals. This circumstance
he ascribed to the erect attitude of man, the use
of a concentrated diet and the lessened activities
of civilized life.
While the excreta of all animals are instinctively offensive to that species, yet it would hardly
seem that the waste products of digestion should
be actively poisonous. That the contents of the
human intestine should become so Metchnikoff




ascribes not to the human physiological process,
but to the decomposition by bacteria of the
nitrogenous or protein elements in the undigest-

ed food waste. In the healthy man or animal

there are no living bacteria in the blood or tissues,
but the alimentary canal is a tube through the
body, and its contents are not physiologically a
true part of the body. Bacteria are present in all
food as eaten, but in the stomach and small
intestine their growth is prevented by the strong
digestive juices. In the large intestine this antibacterial action is decreased, and if -the feces
be long retained, the bacteria multiply enormously and those which act upon the protein substances create a number of offensive and poisonTo the absorption of these
ous substances.
poisons Metchnikoff ascribed most of the symptoms of old age.
In so far as his theory of causes is concerned
these views have found wide acceptance. The
evil effects of constipation, which are sometimes
called auto-intoxication, are fully recognized by
all medical and hygienic authorities. These evils
are frequently aggravated in the latter part of
They are also aggravated by the use of an
excessive meat or other high-protein diet.
So much for Metchnikoff's explanation of
we now come to consider his remedy.
Being a bacteriologist he gave his attention not
to the decrease of the decomposible elements,
nor to their more speedy elimination, but to the
actual destruction of the bacteria in the colon,


He was, however, a sufficiently good physiologist
not to attempt the destruction of the bacteria in
the intestines by the introduction of germicidal
chemicals, in which case ths antidote might be
worse than the poison, but sought, instead, for
the natural enemies of the offending bacteria in
the form of other species of bacteria which,
without causing injury to man, might check the
growth of bacteria causing protein decomposition.
The rival bacterium he found to be the
Bacillus bulgaricuSj which, by secreting lactic
acid, created a medium in which the offending
germs could not live.
Lactic acid is harmless and perhaps actually

man, as it is the active ingredient

of sour milk, which is widely used as human food
the world over. There are several kinds of bacteria which can create lactic acid and cause the
souring of milk. Some of these bacteria cannot
live in the human intestine, but there is at least
one species that Metchnikoff found in the peculiar kind of sour milk so extensively used by the
people of Bulgaria. So far there appeared to be
no flaw in his reasoning, although the thread to
which he attached the hope of human longevity
was a slender one. But when the eminent scientist brings in, as the convincing argument for his
case, the number of centenarians in Bulgaria, we
at once become skeptical. Well authenticated
cases of centenarians exist among all healthy
long-lived peoples, but that the Bulgarians, a poverty-stricken and ignorant race, should outlive the
beneficial to


English, Scotch, or Scandanavians, is hardlyreasonable Nor do they, for the larger number
of centenarians reported in Bulgaria is much
more readily explained by the fact, everywhere
observable, that the greatest number of reported
centenarians is always to be found among illiterate people who have no accurate knowledge of
their age.
It is true in this country among
negroes and Indians, and a similar showing in
Europe is made by Spain. Thus the keystone to
Metchnikoff's reasoning is broken down by the
fact that the use of Bulgarian sour milk is accidently associated with illiteracy, and is not a
demonstrated cause of prolonged life.
Such, at least, is the interpretation which impartial critics have put upon the evidence which
Metchnikoff adduces in favor of his scheme of
life prolongation; but as a result of his work
these two facts remain: first, that the decomposition of protein food residue in the intestine
and its absorption by the blood is dangerous, both
for young and old and secondly, that sour milk
is an excellent food, deserving a wider use, and
that it doubtless leaves the bowels in a much more
wholesome condition than does a meat diet. I
personally advise the cultivation of a taste for
buttermilk, or other forms of sour milk, as being
equally wholesome, if not indeed a better food for
the adult than the fresh milk.

The Quintessence of Fletcherism


Horace Fletcher was not only an au-^

on longevity, but was himself a most
remarkable case of youth prolongation. Mr.
Fletcher broke many strength and endurance
records made by young athletes when he himself
was at the age of sixty, and he taught a system
of eating and living that the seeker after long life
cannot wholly ignore. There is a kinship between the teachings of Metchnikoff and Fletcher.
Whereas the former sought to prevent decomlate


position of the waste food elements in the colon

by introducing a species of good bacteria to kill
bad ones, Fletcher achieved the same end by a
plan of dieting that left practically nothing for
the bad bacteria to decompose and make poison

out of.
Fletcher and Fletcherism are generally summed up as "much chewing." Whereas Gladstone advised us to chew every mouthful thirty
times, Fletcher tells us to chew each mouthful
until it is reduced to a liquid and is swallowed,
not by obvious gulping, but by an instinctive and
involuntary swallowing action. Any one can
demonstrate this involuntary swallowing by taking a sip of milk and holding it in the mouth,
tasting and enjoying it but making no effort to


it; it


down the throat almost

The same thing will happen to

will slip

dry bread if it is masticated until it becomes thoroughly liquid in the mouth. The habits of thorough mastication, with full tasting of the food,
followed by this instinctive and involuntary
swallowing, is the backbone of Fletcherism. But
the benefits attained are not directly the result
of the chewing, important as this may be. for this
manner of eating exerts a double influence. The
appetite is satisfied on much less food and
there seems to be a decreased desire for meat or
other protein foods. Now the combination of
such thorough chewing with the resulting reduction in the quantity of foods eaten leads to a
remarkable completeness of digestion. Indeed
digestion in the small intestine is so thorough
that the residue leaves that organ in pillular form,
the small quantity of feces expelled resembling
that of a sheep. Such a plan of eating Fletcher
found to result in but one or two bowel movements per week. Both the condition of the feces
and the infrequency of the movements would
seem to most of us as an extreme form of constipation; yet under Fletcher's regime none of
the evil effects of constipation are observed, for
the feces, or "digestion ash," as he termed it, are
wholly inoffensive and non-poisonous.
Fletcher's case, at least, the absolute freedom

from muscular soreness, which made

markable endurance records possible,


:seem a further evidence that this unusual






of keeping the body free from poisonous wastes
works most admirably.
I have the greatest admiration for Fletcher and
his work, and believe that he has made a most

remarkable contribution to the science of health

and longevity. The practical difficulty with
Fletcherism, however, is that so few people seem
capable of fully adopting it. Part of Fletcher's
dietetic program is the rejection of fruit skins
and all other fibrous portions of the food, on
which we have been taught to rely to give bulk
to the food residue and hence facilitate the bowel
movement. Therefore the imperfect adoption of

Fletcherism may increase constipation without

rendering the feces harmless, and thus do more
harm than good. Either we must secure a frequent emptying of the bowels, or we must secure
such perfect digestion that the remnants of digestion become harmless. The latter condition is so
the former seems safer.
another feature associated with the
elimination of waste from the bowels which must
be considered.
The general idea that only the waste of the food
that we eat is eliminated from the bowels is erroneous. There are other eliminations which in
some cases are considerable. For example, I
have conducted fasts in which the patient would
take no nourishment whatsoever for varying
periods, ranging from one to ninety days, and in
some cases I have seen the bowel movements continue to the last day of the fast, indicating that
difficult to attain that



in these eases at least, where there could have
been practically no digestion ash to be eliminated,
the body was using the digestive tract for the

elimination of other wastes.

To be sure, if one should adopt Fletcher's idea
of mastication, these wastes would no doubt decrease very gradually, but the constitution of
many individuals is such that it would be a grave
mistake to depend upon the slow processes of
elimination usually associated with Fletcherism
in its extreme form.
But I would advise every man to give Fletcherism an honest trial. If you find you can secure a
condition of digestion which will so reduce the
excreta that it becomes wholly inoffensive and
gives no bowel distress, or other symptoms of
constipation, well and good. But if this condition proves unattainable, or you cannot keep
your diet down to so close a margin, you will
need to consider the other means for preventing
intestinal poisoning which I will discuss at length
in the next chapter. In any case you should not
lose sight of the valuable lessons taught by Metchnikoff and Fletcher: first, the relation of the
contents of the colon to self-poisoning; second,
the importance of mastication and the thorough
tasting of all food third, the importance of eating just enough to supply the body's need, without adding a burden of waste which must be
eliminated and which may be turned into poison.

How Colon Cleanliness May Be Attained


evil effect of putrid

and decomposing

in the colon, or large intestine, is a

subject on which health authorities are well
agreed. Upon the question of how this evil may
be best overcome there are marked differences of
opinion. These different views are in part ascribable to medical traditions, and in part to the fact
that there are several ways by which the desired
end may be attained.

The commonest but unfortunately most harmful method of cleaning the colon is by means of
physic, or purgative drugs. To understand the
widespread custom of taking physic we must go
back and consider the history of medicine. Medical science, though becoming more rational each
year, has still clinging about it the fragments
In medieval
of many ancient superstitions.
times the art of making and administering drugs
was associated with the most absurd superstitions. The same apothecary who compounded
cures for disease also concocted love potions and
elixirs of life and other nonsensical nostrums.
There was a general search after all manner of
evil-tasting and poisonous drugs. Among these
were a goodly number of salts and herbs which
when taken into the human alimentary canal re10

suit in the rapid secretion of water from the
blood, in what may be called Nature's effort to
rid herself of the offending substance.
caused a watering of the canal and a sweeping
out of all the contents, both the food wastes and
the half digested food. Considerable temporary
benefit resulted. Not only were the colon poisons
eliminated, but the further absorption of food
was checked at a time when, owing to illness, the
body needed rest and not surplus food. Not only
were the effects of these drugs temporary, however, but they were gained by disturbance of a
normal function, resulting in what was really a
case of artificially induce'd indigestion. The action of physic on the bowels is not unlike that
of a stimulant upon the nerves. In both cases
artificially induced activity is likely to be followed by a reaction. Cathartics have, therefore, no
place in a permanent health program, and to
rely upon them is to create a sort of drug habit.

second widely used method of colon cleanliness is that of the enema, or internal bath of warm
water, or soap, or oil and water, injected into the
rectum with some form of syringe. The enema
is greatly to be preferred to physic. Its action is
wholly mechanical, as the offending matter is
washed out with externally introduced water instead of with water taken from the blood, and
the half-digested contents of the stomach and
small intestines are not disturbed. I recommend
the use of the enema in all cases where wholly
natural means are not effective. But as a regu11


from desirable. In the
the taking of an enema is an onerous
task and one that is likely to be neglected. Secondly, the bowel muscles may learn to wait for
the external introduction of water before they
will function. Lastly, the enema reaches only the
contents of the colon, and if improperly administered, only the lower portion of the colon.
Hence, if no attention be paid to the diet, congestion may occur above the point at which the
enema is effective. Bowel poisons will thus be
formed and absorbed into the blood.
For emergency use, however, when other
methods of bowel elimination fail to work, I
recommend that every one should possess some
form of bowel syringe, or internal bath apparlar proposition it is far

first place,

The enema is properly administered with

about two to four quarts of lukewarm water.
The water should be introduced slowly. If the
bowels cramp for a moment check the flow until
the pain ceases. The best effect of the enema
will be secured when the injection is held from

five to fifteen minutes. The mere introduction

of a small quantity of water into the rectum may
be useful in case of difficult passage, or when
suffering from piles, but the full injection
worked well up is essential as a remedy for autointoxication from colon poisons.
Before turning to the completely natural means
of remedying constipation I should mention the
use of mineral oil. Such oil is not a physic, as it
has no chemical effect. Being completely indi12

and also of a lubricating nature, it is a
valuable aid in securing a quick emptying of
the bowels. I should place its use about on a par
with that of the enema, and recommend its employment only in cases where purely natural
means temporarily fail.
The fundamental cause of colon congestion
being found in an artificial diet and lack of exercise, the true remedy is to be found in these
fields. Diet in this instance must be considered
to include water, for the presence of water in
the digestive* tract has a marked effect, both
chemically and physically.
The cause of this prevailing evil of civilization goes back to man's change of habits during
his evolution from an active creature living largely on fibrous fruits and vegetables to an inactive
one living on concentrated and denatured foods.
The obvious remedy is to increase the muscular
activity and adopt a normal diet. This is a particularly difficult thing to do in old age, as it
means the overcoming of lifelong habits.
Normal activity having been neglected, the
entire body has lost muscular tone and the intestinal walls have shared in the loss. The habits
and clothes of civilization seem particularly designed to prevent activity of the abdominal muscles.
The dignified business man rarely stoops
and rarely raises his knees, while his tree-climbing ancestors performed these movements, bringing the abdominal muscles into play, a hundred
times a day. Therefore in devising exercises to



correct constipation special attention must be
given to those muscles, although bodily activity
of any kind is useful. Combined with such exercises may be the massaging or kneading of the

abdomen. Such massage is most effective if the

path of the colon be followed. Begin on the
right side low down and work up to a little above
the navel, then across the body and down on
the left side.
The constipating or laxative effects of food
vary somewhat with the individual. Fiber, or
cellulose, as found in wheat bran, is typical of
the group of foods that leave an ample bulk of
intestinal residue to cause a healthy bowel action.
Leafy vegetables, as spinach, kale, endive, or any
form of greens, eaten raw or cooked, are among
the best possible foods for the remedying of
constipation. This group of foods cannot be surpassed in the diet for old age. They contain
little fattening ingredients and less protein, to
decompose and form bowel poisons. They are
rich in vital mineral salts and vitamines, and
leave a wholesome bulk of fiber which does not
decompose in the bowels. The skins of fruits,
as grapes, raisins, prunes and figs are likewise
beneficial, while in some cases the natural fruit
sugars also have a laxative effect not due to the
Thus honey, which is free from fiber,
may act as a laxative.
Of all the constipating foods white flour is the
chief offender. The substitution of whole-wheat
for white-flour bread is the simplest and most

beneficial of all dietetic measures for the relief
of constipation. The widespread adoption of
whole wheat as a war measure probably did more
good by improving the health of the nation than
by preventing waste.
Meat, cheese and an excess of eggs, hulled
beans and macaroni, or other protein foods, aggravate the evil of colon poisoning, both by increasing the substance to decompose and by their
constipating effects.
Many cases of constipation are caused by insufficient water drinking and may be relieved by
the ample use of plain water. The civilized diet
must needs be light in quantity, because of our
lessened activities, and is also light in bulk, owing
to the use of concentrated foods. As a result the
intestines contain so small a bulk that often they
almost cease their muscular activities. Copious
draughts of water, particularly upon arising, will
often start the peristaltic muscular action. The
contents of the upper portion of the digestive
canal are set in motion and the muscular contractions move on down the line. The water may be
absorbed before it reaches the colon and yet
arouse activity in that part. Water drunk on
rising will be found especially helpful in establishing the habit of a morning bowel movement.
Where some nourishment is desired fruit
juices diluted with water, or buttermilk, may be
used on arising. Weak tea is frequently recommended for the purpose by English writers.

Making Ol
Bodies li)eNG
Qhirty -EiQht Lessons
in Building VitalitLj
andNeroewrce and in
thec4rt ofPostponina
-^ -^/
Old c4qe





and 20

Bernair Macfadden

Copyright 1919 by


New York City




New Methods

of Cleansing Alimentary Canal


the processes of curing disease and

building the body become as scientifically
accurate as mechanics, we will learn that all parts
of the human mechanism must be treated from
the alimentary canal. There may be a few exceptions to this rule, but nearly all complaints have
their origin in this complicated organ.
alimentary canal means cleanliness thruout the
entire interior surface of the body.
Many are under the impression that they are
clean after the exterior surface of the body has
been scrubbed and cleansed. But the interior surface of all the various tubes within the body,
ranging in size from the capillaries to the stomach

and colon,


perhaps more than one hundred

times gi-eater than the exterior surface of the

body. Of how much greater importance, therefore, is interior than mere surface cleanliness!
If you could cleanse your alimentary canal
thruout its entirety with almost the same ease

you wash your


you would probably

consider yourself possessed of an extraordinarily

valuable piece of knowledge, and I now intend to
present a method of accomplishing this very
thing. This cleansing process is so direct in its
effects and the results are so sure that it can be


stated without fear of contradiction that it will
absolutely cleanse every part of the alimentary
canal, and that failure in its use is practically
impossible. This process is associated too, with a
vitality-building and muscle-strengthening program which is also invaluable.
This method combines the drinking of hot
water with exercises for stimulating and
strengthening the spine, the exercises which are
described and illustrated in Lesson III being
particularly useful for the purpose.
As the treatment can only be taken on an
empty stomach, the most suitable time for it
is immediately on rising in the morning. During
the night, the functions have stagnated, to a
certain extent. You are ready for a stimulating
process of this kind, and it will be most beneficial
at such a time.
When you are ready to begin the treatment,
you must have at least two quarts of hot water
at hand. Take it as hot as you can without sipping. You should be able to drink it down as
you would when thirsty. It can be flavored with
a little salt if preferred, but add nothing which
In fact, salt is about
is in any way nourishing.
the only allowable addition, and in some cases,
this should be avoided.
Begin by drinking a half pint, or a pint, and
then proceed to the exercises. These should be
fairly vigorous for your strength, and each movement taken should be continued until a feeling
of fatigue is definitely induced.


After exercising from two to four minutes,
take another glass of hot water. Continue this
process, exercising from two to four minutes,
then drinking a glass of hot water, until you
have taken water to your complete limit, or until
the bowels have been called upon to act properly.
The exercises can be continued thereafter if desired, though additional water* need not be taken.
This particular method of cleansing the alimentary canal is superior to any other method of
colon cleansing. It is so much better than the
use of cathartics that no comparison can be made.
Every function of the body is, to a certain extent,
stimulated in the process, an effect which is due,
to a large extent, to the spinal exercises. For as
our readers know, the nerves controlling all the
vital organs radiate from the spine, and when
these nerves are actively stimulated, as they are
in the spinal exercises referred to, every bodily
function is arousd to unusual activity.
If your eyes have been dull, your complexion
muddy, you will note, after following this regime
for a few days, a decided change for the better,

for it means the literal washing of the organs

that prepare the food for the tissues of the body
and at the same time it stimulates the centers that
supply their motive power. It does not require
much reasoning to demonstrate that this must
mean a purer quality of blood and that the life-

giving fluid must more capably perform its office

in every part of the organism.
That "the blood is the life" is a truism, but


the statement cannot be repeated too often. For
if we can maintain the proper purity of this vital

and alimentary cleanlimaintain the source of bodily and

mental strength, and will be able to retain the
energy and ambition that we ordinarily associate
with early youth.
This process of cleansing the alimentary canal
is not recommended for daily use, but only for
times when Nature requires help. It could be
used every day for example, until the functions
appear to be normal, after which the exercise
could be taken without the hot water.
In other words, when its object has been accomplished, sufficient vitality should have been
developed to enable the bowels to act without
fluid thru a sensible diet




this stimulus.

Part Four

Food and Diet for Deferring

Old Age
Comprising Lessons Nineteen to Twenty-Three

XIX. Foods That Keep One Young.

XX. How Much Food and How Often.
XXI. Fasting and Abstemious Diets.

A Natural Stomach Tonic.


Body Weight In Old Age.

Foods That Keep One Young


errors in diet that cause premature age

chiefly those that have to do with the
quantity of food eaten. There are, however,
some well recognized dietetic laws that indicate

what foods should be used and which should be

omitted or decreased as one advances in years.
First among these foods which the old should
use sparingly are the heavy meats. There are
two well recognized physiological indications
that heavy meats are not required in the later
period o f life. One is the decay of the teeth. Of
course, it does not follow that loss of teeth must
occur, even in old age. Many people retain them.
However, all foods except the heavy meats may
be so selected or prepared that they can be properly mixed with the saliva in the mouth and thus
prepared for the digestion without teeth. The
dentist, by very skillfully replacing the natural
teeth, performs a valuable service to our appearance and comfort but in rendering it possible for
the aged to continue the meat diet of vigorous
middle life he may often work actual injury.

The more

positive indications that meat is

superfluous to the old is to be found in the prevalence of kidney trouble and the frequency with


this causes

death in the latter part of




The chief chemical element of lean meat is nitrogen, and the secretion from the body of this element in the form of urea is the chief function of
the kidneys. By the continued heavy use of meat
the kidneys are overtaxed, resulting in their
breakdown and the accumulation of the nitrogenous elements which poison the body.
Sufficient protein, or nitrogenous food elements, can always be secured in more digestible
form from eggs, milk, nuts and grain. Where
these foods are taken in sufficient quantity there
is no positive need for meat in the diet at any
time. During the early period of growth and the
activities of early manhood the need of meats to
supply protein for the growth and replacing of
tissues is much greater than in advanced years,
when growth has altogether ceased and the rate
of the replacement of tissues is much slower.
In some forms of animal life we see this greater
early use of tissue-building protein in an extreme
form. Bees, while in the larval stage, are fed
pollen, which is highly nitrogenous and from
which the tissues of the body are rapidly formed.
In the adult stage, when growth has ceased, the
diet of the bee consists exclusively of honey,
which contains only a trace of protein. The same
is true of butterflies and moths.
In the human species this change between the
requirements of growth and maturity is not so
marked; but it exists in a lesser degree. Some
protein is always required for the replacement of
living cells destroyed either in muscular v/ork, in


the growth of the hair and skin, or in the activities of the internal organs. The amount of protein needed, however, is far less than the customary meat diet provides. Many of the dietetic
regimes for old age, notably that of Horace
Fletcher, have as one of their essential principles
a marked decrease in the use of meat, or other
The diet for old age should, therefore, be chiefly vegetarian. The animal foods that are consumed should be of the more easily digestible
form. Milk and eggs, while ideal foods for the
young, are also, because of their easily digestible
form and freedom from harmful elements, ideal
foods for any age. After a severe illness, when a
great amount of bodily tissue has been destroyed,
large amounts of milk, or eggs, may be advantageously used for the quick repair of the tissues.
Because of this fact they are popularly regarded
old man, however, is not
as invalid foods.
an invalid. His digestive powers may have been
weakened by lifelong abuse, and hence special
care of the diet may be necessary. But such a
condition does not require that bodily tissues be
quickly rebuilt, as in the case of convalescence
from disease; hence what is suitable in the one
case is not suitable in the other. The easily digested protein foods are, therefore, to be used by
the old in moderate quantities only.
Neither should the old partake heavily of the
fat of meats, though for somewhat different reasons. Fat is the most concentrated form of food




and the meat fats of high melting point require
the strongest digestive powers. One of the most
frequent digestive troubles in advanced years is
the failure of the digestion of heavy meat fats.
Here again we should follow Nature's suggestion.
The need for large quantities and concentrated forms of energy-producing food being
decreased, Nature gives us the hint by decreasing
our powers of digesting heavy fats.
But all fats should not be eliminated from the
The food chemists formerly told us that
fats served the same purpose in the body as
starches and sugars. This view they have recently been obliged to change. The experience of the
Germans with fat starvation has clearly indicated
that starch and sugar cannot replace fats in the

While the chief purpose of fats is to produce

heat and muscular energy, we now know that
they serve other needs as well. This is particularly true of some of the lighter fats, as butter.
Careful experimentation has recently showed
that butter fat contains essential food elements
which cannot be supplied by the manufactured
substitutes. Fats must, therefore, be included in
the diet, and the fats selected should be those
which are easily digested. The fat of milk,
whether taken in the form of milk, cream, butter, or cheese, ranks very high. The next choice
would be vegetable oils, in which list olive oil
stands first. Fats should always be eaten in
moderate quantities and mixed with other foods.


is achieved in millc, in bread and butter
in salad dressing. Properly fleshed poultry
also comes in this class, as the fat is well distributed through the meat. The forms of fat which
are to be avoided are the heavy meat fats, and
the rich pastries and fried foods.
Fats are not digested in the stomach, but in the
small intestine. In fried foods the fat is well distributed with other food ingredients, but because
of the method of cooking the fat is not easily
separated in digestion, and hence retards the digestion of other food elements in the stomach.
In the case of fried foods and pastry the melted
fat has coated the other food particles, and as
the fat cannot be digested in the stomach, it
mechanically prevents normal digestion of other
The group of foods known as carbohydrates,
which includes starches and sugars, forms the
largest bulk of any diet. This is especially true
in old age when the intake of protein and fat is
decreased. Foods of cereal origin must, therefore, form a large portion of the diet. All cereals
in their natural and complete state may be used
and we have, therefore, to ask only the form in
which they can be most readily digested. Those
forms of cereal foods to be avoided are: first,

This end



and hot breads, when made of

fine white

wheat flour is the chief offender. Natural breads
made of any whole grain flour, hot or cold, may
be used freely. Porridges are to be avoided in

flour; secondly, the denatured cereals, of




Rice, oatmeal, hominy, or

wheat, should, when properly cooked, have the
grains distinct and not amalgamated in a sticky
mass. When prepared in such form and eaten
slowly the digestive juices can freely attack the
similar end is gained in the case of
the popular "predigested" cereals, or breakfast
The advertised claims of these foods,
especially as regards predigestion, are sometimes
exaggerated, but they are wholesome and convenient and may be freely used.
Starch when digested is changed into sugars;
hence it serves the same purpose in the body as
sugar. The desire for sweets is usually stronger
in youth than in advanced years. This fact is
to be explained not so much by any definite use
to which the elements are put in the body, but
by the great demand of the appetite of youth for
any available nutriment. Sugars may be considered as a naturally predigested food, and may
be used in the quantity which would be available
in a well selected natural diet including sweet
fruits and honey. But by the artificial process
of manufacturing pure sugars from cane juice
or cornstarch, the proportion of sugar has been
enormously increased in our modern diet. The
effect is similar to that of any effort to relieve the
digestion of its normal functions. In the vigor
of youth, when the digestive powers are ample,
this may not be a serious matter, but in advanced
life, when these powers are declining, we cannot
afford to do anything to hasten the process. The




youthful sweet tooth is not so much a natural instinct as a desire for highly flavored food. It is
an appetite that should not be encouraged at any
time, and should be carefully corrected with advancing years. This end can be gained most
satisfactorily by decreasing the use of artificial
sugar and confining the sweets eaten almost
wholly to moderate quantities of sweet fruits and
honey. When artificial sugar is used it should be
brown and not white.
I have thus far discussed the. use of the three
principle food groups, that is, protein, fats and
carbohydrates. These are the three chief groups,
however, only in the sense that they form the
largest proportion of the diet. Because of this
fact they have been considered by food scientists
as the only dietetic elements needing attention.
I have long maintained that this was an erroneous
and harmful view. Within the last few years
the dietetic ideas which I have long endorsed have
received a great deal of attention on the part of

who, at this late date, seem to have just

discovered that certain elements which exist in
the diet in compartively small quantities are of
vital importance. The exact technical names for
these minor though vital food elements need not
trouble us here. In a general way they fall into
two groups known as mineral salts and vitamines.
Scientific attention was directed to these elements by the investigation of what are known as
deficiency diseases, such as beri-beri and pellagra,
and by means of experiments on animals it has



been amply demonstrated that a diet containing
ample quantities of protein, carbohydrates and

may be wholly insufficient to support life.

Neither animals nor men living in the state of
nature know aught of chemistry; yet their diet


sufficient for their needs,

least in the case of



and that


a varied one,



up of many natural foods. But the diet of civiman is made up almost wholly of the foods


which could be found or produced in the largest

quantities, and which could be stored or handled
in commerce. These foods supplied sugars, fats,
starches and proteins in abundant quantities. Ber
cause of their perishibility the many fresh vegetable substances and fruits are now less used than
in the natural diet. Thus the civilized diet be-

came deficient and this deficiency was made worse

by the absurd folly of denatured and super-refined foods, of which white flour and granulated
sugar are the chief offenders. It is only by the
increased use of fresh vegetables and fruits that





end be gained because we

hold to the theory of the advantage of the natural
diet, or because we hearken to the chemist's belated discovery of the importance of vitamines,
matters not, for the effect upon the body will be
the same. The vital energies are maintained not
merely by the three or four elements which make
up the bulk of our food materials, but by the
eighteen or twenty elements which they also include and which exist in many hundreds of chem-


this practical



combinations. An exact knowledge of all
complicated chemistry is unnecessary and
would be wholly impractical as a guide to living.
The body is well prepared to eliminate the elements that it does not need, if they are taken in
moderate quantities. It is only when large quantites of food elements are taken in excess of
bodily need that trouble arises.
The diet should, therefore, at all times include a
variety of food and this food variety is not to be
sought by means of the cook's cleverness in combining and seasoning flour, fats and sugars in a
hundred different ways, but by selecting a variety
of natural foods. In youth and early manhood
the actual growth of tissue and the excessive consumption of energy due to greater activity requires a correspondingly greater portion of the
proteins, starches and fats. But the use to which
the mineral salts and vitamines are put is that of
keeping up the chemical activities of the vital
organs and nerves and the proper composition
of the blood, and these needs are imperative as
long as life lasts. Therefore, since the total bulk
of the diet is decreased with advancing age, special pains should be taken to see that no essential decrease be made in those foods which
supply the mineral salts and vitamines. Starches,
sugars, fats and meats should be decreased, but
the use of vegetables, greens, fruits, milk and eggs
should by all means be continued. In the selection of vegetables an ample variety is of importance.




The group of vegetables derived from the
leaves and tender shoots are highly essential.
Such leafy vegetables, or "greens," contain large
quantities of chlorophyl, the green coloring matter of plants. It is in these green cells that the
inorganic mineral elements absorbed from the
soil are transformed into the organic mineral
salts that support animal life.
These chemical
changes are brought about by the energy of sunlight. Without this agency for transforming inorganic into organic food animal life could not
exist. Much of this organic material is stored in
fruits and seeds, but the vital salts are found in
greatest abundance in the live cells of the active
green plant tissue. Except for the occasional
use of a few leaves of salad these green plants
have largely disappeared from the conventional
diet. I know of nothing in the field of diet that
will result in more speedy improvement than
the increased use of green vegetables. This is
especially true in old age when the problem of
diet consists in finding a way to cut down the
quantity of heavy foods without eliminating any
of the essential salts or vitamines.
valuable lesson may be learned from livestock feeders. When grass comes in the spring
the horses pick up in condition and the milk yield
of cows improves in quantity and quality. Hogs
and poultry show equal benefits from the addition of even a small quantity of greens to their
diet. So great is the benefit from eating greens
that medicinal qualities are commonly ascribed



to the various green vegetables. As a matter of
fact the improvement in health which follows the
use of such foods is simply the natural result of
the adoption of a complete diet of true food ele-

ments which no drugs can supply.

The root vegetables are not so important as

green vegetables, for they consist more largely of
starches and sugars. Fruits are extremely valuable, as they supply organic acids which are esand

especially helpful to digestive accitrus fruits may be freely used at

all times ; so indeed may all fruits, as none of
them supply a sufficient bulk of nutriment either
to endanger the digestive power, or to greatly
increase the total quantity of nutriment taken.
The sweet fruits, such as raisins,dates and figs,
constitute a possible exception to this rule. These
fruits, in addition to containing a variety of food
elements, contain a large quantity of sugar. This
is indeed the most desirable form in which sweets
can be eaten, and no caution is needed here except that when the*y are used a corresponding decrease should be made in cereals, or other heavy





chief caution that need be exercised in the

use of vegetables or fruits is to avoid any sorts
that are found to result in unfavorable digestive
symptoms. Cabbage, especially when cooked, is
a notable offender. Because the list to choose
from is so large, there need be no argument about
the dropping out of any particular vegetable or
fruit that results in digestive disturbances.


Nuts have generally been recommended as an
As nuts add a
ingredient of a natural diet.
be used modvariety to the diet
erately, but they are rich in fats and protein and
therefore a very concentrated form of food;
hence there is no occasion for their heavy use in
old age. Moreover nuts are difficult to masticate,
and where the teeth are not sound should be
avoided. The latter difficulty may be overcome,
however, by the use of nut butters hence these in
moderate quantities are permissible.


How Much


Food and



least nine out of ten reports of the life

habits of those


who have reached an especial-

ly advanced and vigorous old age will be found

to cite a temperate diet as one of the reasons for
long life.
temeprate diet may mean the elimination of alcohol, meat, pastries and other injurious forms of food or drink, or it may mean merely being temperate in food quantity.
I have already emphasized the importance of
cutting down the quantity of food as the years
advance. In all cases this is necessary, because
of the decreasing need for food, but it is especially necessary when in early life more food has
been consumed than has been needed and a habit
of excessive eating has been formed. Such a habit
may have overtaxed the powers of the digestive
and excretory organs and thus left them in a
weakened condition. Where such weakness exists
the importance of discontinuing the abuse is the
greater. Overeating is at all times harmful, but
while the young indulge in it and notice little ill
effect, the continuance of the vice into old age
invariably results in disease and shortened life.
Efforts to prescribe a given amount of food are
always impractical. If food could be measured in
pints or pounds we might arrive at some useful



conclusions in the matter. But this cannot be
done, as the amount of nutriment varies widely
with the chemical composition and the proportion of water contained in the various foods.
Theoretical scientists attempt to prescribe dietaries containing so many calories
the calorie
being a scientific unit whereby the heat or energyproducing value of the food is measured. This
standard may be all right for scientific investigation, but in practical life it is useless, as it confuses and complicates matters and ignores utterly the minor though essential food elements referred to in the last chapter. Moreover every
individual is a law unto himself, and his food
needs vary according to his physical frame, his

and his digestive powers.

In practice each individual must decide the
quantity of food he requires, and learn to rejy
upon the dictates of an enlightened appetite and
the observation of the effects of a given quantity
of food upon his health and weight.
In order that the appetite may form an intelligent guide to our eating, we must first eliminate
the false appetite created by excessive indulgence

in food, wrong habits of eating and the use of

stimulating and highly flavored food. In order to
cultivate a true appetite, one must adopt simple
foods with natural flavors. At first these may
not seem attractive, but the palate will soon learn
to prefer them to more highly flavored dishes.
To the power of habit we often have added that
of prejudice, which, at least among the more


class, has condemned some of our
best and simplest foods as being too "common"
for the well-to-do. Silly pride which causes many
people to indulge in costly food, when the less
expensive would serve the purpose as well or better, should find no place in the mind of the seeker
after health and long life. But even when such
pride and prejudice in one's own mind is overcome, the health seeker may still have to reckon
with the' opinions of his family and friends.




be indulgently smiled



or openly dubbed

and smallminded opposition must be met with a firm and

patient perseverance, and when the beneficial results of dietetic reform have become apparent

a crank, or fanatic.

this silly

conventional opposition is easily overcome.

Not only should one so direct his diet and train
his appetite that simple foods will be relished at
the beginning of the meal, but the meal should be
of such size that the appetite for such simple
food will last throughout. Little benefit will be
gained from abstinence from highly flavored
foods at the beginnnig of the meal, if simply
cooked dishes are followed by a variety of curious
and highly flavored desserts which one continues
to eat after the true appetite has been satisfied.
Not only do highly flavored dishes entice us
to eat to excess, but dishes so prepared that the
meal is eaten too rapidly will defeat the end
sought.. The careless, heavy eater, when partaking of the conventional dinner, eats until the
amount of food taken gives a sense of fullness,


or even actual distress, in the stomach. The more
to rely on a true appetite to tell you
when to rise from the dinner table the less distress you will have after eating. The advice to
leave the table while still a little hungry cannot
be improved upon. Putting the same idea into
different words I would say, "Rise from the
table when you cease to relish unseasoned foods
and cast about for sweets, pickles, or other rel-

you learn




A wide variety of food

is desirable as a means
of insuring a sufficient supply of the lesser known
elements, some of which are apt to be lacking if
only a few foods are eaten but a wide variety of
foods in the diet does not imply a large number
of disTies at a single meal. The body can store
even the more bulky food elements for many
weeks or months, and scarcer food elements for
perhaps even longer periods; hence there is no
advantage to be gained from trying to eat a large
number of different foods at a single meal. On
the other hand there are two distinct disadvantages from this custom. One is that it increases
the temptation to overeat, the other that it complicates the process of digestion.
Some years ago the Russian scientist Pavlow
made the remarkable discovery that the digestive
juices vary, not only in quantity but in quality,
according to the foods taken. This difference in
the composition of the digestive juices in the
stomach is not determined by the presence of the
foods in the stomach so much as by the sight,



and taste of the food as eaten. This
discovery teaches us two lessons. One is the importance to digestion of a proper manner of
eating, with sufficient time to fully taste and
enjoy foods. The other is the great importance
of simple meals and simple foods. The greater
the number of foods eaten at one meal the less
perfect would be the adaptation of the digestive
juices to particular foods. Moreover Nature's
provision can hardly be expected to take care of
the more complex concoctions of the cook.
Simple foods taken in as nearly their natural
state as possible and a few foods at a meal are,
flavor, odors

therefore, more easily and more fully digestible

than a larger variety of foods subjected to a

greater amount of manipulation.

One of the most remarkable women that I have
ever met lived to be eighty years of age, although
she was given up to die of rheumatism when she
especially remarkable feature of
was forty.
this woman was her activity and brightness, even
brilliancy, of intellect.
She was as active as a
sixteen-year-old girl, her mind clear as a bell up
to the last day of her life.
And her habits of eating were unique. She
would eat but one article of food at one meal,
though she would thoroughly satisfy her appetite
with that food at that particular meal. She would
always select a food that made a strong appeal to
her appetite. She believed in a variety of foods,
but only one kind of food at one meal. Sometimes she would eat two meals a day and some-




times one meal a day. She never ate salt, pepper,
nor condiments of any kind. She no doubt learned the danger of salt in her experience with

is liable,


one advances in
individuals, to aggravate

Salt, especially as

rheumatic symptoms.


extreme case of rigid dieting to

variety at one meal.
Ample variety may be introduced into the diet
by changing the foods from meal to meal, and
such variety should be sought mainly in the field


show the danger of too much

of fruits and vegetables, the chemical contents of

which vary widely and from which we draw our
mineral salts and vitamines. With cereals and
animal products there is less occasion for a
variety, and such foods as bread, milk, butter and
eggs may be used daily, or even at every meal.
The number of meals taken a day is important
in governing the quantity of food eaten. The
American habit calls for three square meals a
day. As American habits were originated by a
hard-working set of pioneers, the American
square meal is customarily a heavy one. For a
number of years I have advocated the two-meal
plan as being the simplest way to overcome the
tendency toward an excessive diet.






who have adopted

the two-meal plan shows that

in the great majority of cases the total amount
of food eaten is considerably reduced by such a

This plan enables the

man who would



his diet to continue to dine at the conventional

and partake of the usual servings of food.

the constitution is vigorous and the digestive powers ample I consider the two-meal-aday plan equally good for the young and old.
But in cases of weakened digestion, or in old
age, where the general constitutional vigor has


suffered considerable decline, I deem it best to

eat more frequently and to cut the food quantity

by eating considerably less than the conventional

meal. Even where only two meals are eaten by
those engaged in physical labor only one meal
full dinner, as we ordinarily understand it. The first meal, if taken in the morning,
should be moderate in quantity and preferably
composed entirely of acid fruits. If all meals are
carefully planned as to both quality and quantity
of food and no foods that are heavy and difficult
of digestion are used, the aged may partake of
more frequent meals, thus duplicating at the end
of life the conditions of its beginning. The baby
requires very little food at one time, but requires
it often
as opposed to the carnivora, which eat
only once a day, or once every two or three days,
and then stuff themselves with food, so that they
have to lie down and sleep for many hours thereafter. Just here, however, I must issue an important warning. Babies are too often overfed;
they are given too many meals a day, and we
must not draw conclusions from wrong practices.
The Italian writer Cornaro, who lived in Venice
400 years ago, took four meals a day. These

need be a



very light, one egg (without bread and
butter) being a very hearty meal for him. Cornaro wrote three books on diet and longevity,
the first when he was eighty-three years of age,
the last when he was ninety-five. He died, "without agony, sitting in an elbow chair, being about
one hundred years old." Of his eating habits he



writes as follows:
There are old lovers of feeding who say that
it is necessary they should eat and drink a great
deal to keep up natural heat, which is constantly
diminishing as they advance in years; and that
it is, therefore, their duty to eat heartily, and of
such things as please their palate, be they hot or
cold, or temperate and that, were they to lead a
sober life, it would be a short one. To this I
answer that our kind mother, Nature, in order
that old men may live still to a greater age, has
contrived matters so that they should be able to
subsist on little, as I do, for large quantities of
food cannot be digested by old and feeble stomachs .... By always eating little the stomach,


burdened, need not wait long

It is for this reason that dry
bread relishes so well with me and I know from
experience, and can with truth affirm, I find such
sweetness in it that I should be afraid of sinning
against temperance, were it not for my being
convinced of the absolute necessity of eating of
it, and that we cannot make use of a more natural
food. And thou, kind parent. Nature, who actest lovingly by thy aged offspring, in order to

not being

to have

an appetite.



prolong his days, hast contrived matters so in
his favor, that he can Hve upon very little and,
in order to add to the favour, and do him still

made him sensible, that, as

in his youth he used to eat twice a day, when he
arrives at old age he ought to divide that food, of
which he was accustomed before to make but two
meals into four; because thus divided, it will
be more easily digested; and, as in his youth he
made but two collations in a day he should, in
his old age, make four, provided, however, he
lessens the quantity as his years increase.
"And this is what I do, agreeably to
experience; and, therefore,
spirits, not oppressed by much food, but barely kept up, are
always brisk, especially after eating, so that I am
obliged then to sing a song, and afterwards to
"Nor do I ever find myself the worse for writing immediately after meals, nor is
understanding ever clearer, nor am I apt to be drowsy,
the food I take being in too small a quantity to
send up any fumes to the brain. Oh, how advantageous it is to an old man to eat but little!
Accordingly I, who know it, eat but just enousfh
to keep body and soul together."

greater service, hast




Food quantity cannot be accurately prescribed

because there is no practical system of measuring, second, for the reason that eirery individual is a law unto himself.
man who has
carefully worked out the amount or the composition of his diet, and who attempts to prescribe




own regimen

for others,


making the same

mistake as does the man who, having decided the

type and size of the shoe that fits his feet, should
urge all others to wear the same. I can be of
better service to you, therefore, not by attempting to tell you how much you may eat, but by
telling you how you may best discover for yourself how much you should eat. The following
menus, therefore, are merely suggestions, giving
an approximate idea of the amount of food required by a man over sixty of sedentary occupation and taking perhaps an hour or two a day of
exercise in the






One or two glasses of hot or cold water, as desired.

For Breakfast


orange, apple, or any appetizing acid fruit, or a

half glass of grape juice.

i P. M.)*
whole-wheat bread, with butter.

(Preferably taken at about 12 or



slices of

glass of buttermilk.

green salad.


bowl of soup.

Small serving of fish or poultry.

Two slices whole-wheat or rye bread. Moderate helping of cooked vegetable.
Stewed fruit.
(Dinner is preferably taken at noon if convenient.)



One cup

of hot milk.




fruit served with berries, chopped

ripened bananas.


or well



fresh corn muffins.

glass of buttermilk.

Small oyster stew, or portion of fish.
Vegetables or salad.
Two slices of whole-wheat bread with nut butter,

dessert of fresh fruit.


Making Old
Bodies l:5eNG
Ohirty -Eight Lessons
m Bujidinq Vitalitif
and Neroewrce and in
thec4n ofPostponi
Old ofa<2



Bernair Macfadden

Copyright 1919 by


New York City



Fasting and Abstemious Diets


wise old
Roman said:
"Men do not die; they kill themselves."
Certain it is that many of our ills have beea

brought on by our habits of life, and particularly

by our foods habits and it is equally certain that
old age is largely due to these causes also. It has
been said that *'we dig our graves with our
teeth," and, to a certain extent, that is literally


As age advances, the powers of the body gradually become less.

cannot keep up the incessant muscular activity which is characteristic
of youth. Old dogs and cats do not play and
frolic all the time, as puppies and kittens do;
men and women cannot play all day, like boys
and girls. The mental powers, also, tend to
wane; the mind is less plastic and pliable; the
senses not so open to impressions. The heartbeat is fainter, the respiration is not so deep and
full, and all the changes which we will find to be
All this
characteristic of old age supervene.
being true, it is only natural to suppose what
scientific investigation proves to be a fact
the digestive organs are likewise weakened, to
some extent. The stomach cannot digest, the
intestines cannot handle, the quantity of food



which they did years before. Their actions being
more shiggish, they are easily overworked, and
then we have symptoms of distress and dyspepsia which may become chronic.
Again, the digestive juices are not so copious,
or so powerful, as they were in youth. They are
weaker and more diluted, and capable of handling properly a far less quantity of solid food.
Especially if we eat the so-called "strong" foods
the digestive system can soon be
meats, etc.
j)ut out of order.

Further, the eliminating organs are

powerful as they were in

earlier life.

not so



the bowels, the liver, the kidneys, etc., do not

function as they once did their power and activity are greatly decreased. They are not able
to throw out of the system the quantity of
poisonous material they did in youth, or even in
middle life. Hence they are easily overworked,
and are apt to break down altogether, if too great
a strain be put upon them.



must not be

lost sight of, in this

connection, viz.: that in old age when the body

when it has reached its maturity,
is full grown
and is even tending to shrink or become smaller,
with passing years the same amount of food is
not required as was necessary when the body was

growing rapidly, and tissues, cells and organs

increasing in size and power all the time. After
the full stature has once been reached, only
enough food is needed to keep the body-weight

to normal and if there be little exercise, this
surprisingly small in amount.
For all these reasons, therefore, the quantity
of food necessary for the old person is far less
than has been supposed much less than is necessary in youth or in maturity. Only the false idea
that the aged must have "strong'' food "and
plenty of it," to "support the strength"
this false doctrine, I say, is responsible for the
idea that old people should have plenty of food.
The truth is they should have relatively little,
as will appear more fully later on.
There is probably no greater authority upon
diet for the aged than Sir Henry Thompson,
whose books. Diet in Relation to Age and Activity, and Food and Feeding, are classical.
Himself well past eighty, he is assuredly entitled to
speak upon this vital topic, both from personal
experience and as a physician who has made this
question of diet for the aged his lifelong study.
Writing upon the topic of the quantity of food
which the aged should eat, he says
"As we increase in age when we have spent,
say, our first half-century
less energy and ac-



expenditure can be made

less power to eliminate is possible at fifty than at
thirty, till less at sixty and upwards. Less nutriment, therefore, must be taken in proportion as
age advances, or rather as activity diminishes, or
the individual will suffer. If he continues to consume abundant breakfasts, substantial luncheons,
tivity remain,



and heavv dinners, which


at the

summit of



power he could dispose of almost with impunity,
he will certainly, in time, either accumulate fat,
or become acquainted with gout or rheumatism,
or show signs of unhealthy deposit of some kind
^processes which must
in some part of the body,
inevitably empoison, undermine, or shorten his
remaining term of life. He must reduce his 'intake' because a smaller expenditure is an en-

forced condition of existence.


seventy, the

man's power has further diminished, and the nutriment must correspond thereto, if he desires
still another term of comfortable life.
And why
should he not?



must be

this principle,


at eighty, with

still less

still less

may long continue


And on



Sir Henry Thompson's views are in accord

with my own, where one: follows the ordinary system of living; but if a strict dietetic regimen is
adopted and one lives in accordance with scientific principles there should be but slight diminishment of one's muscular powers, and like Cornaro, the eminent Italian nobleman, one should
find increased enjoyment of life with added years,
almost to the time of dissolution, which should
closely approach or exceed the century mark.
Cornaro found himself a complete mental
and physical wreck at forty. Doctors treated
him in vain, and he saw himself slipping
rapidly into a premature grave. He accordingly adopted a system of living, which he
has given us in his book, The Art of Living
Long, and which included a reduction in the

quantity of his food until it averaged twelve
ounces a day. This regimen he maintained
throughout all the remaining years of his life,
except on two occasions when he was persuaded
by his relatives to take more food and became
ill in consequence.
So far from finding this abstemiousness burdensome, or life under such conditions not worth living, he testified that he had
found his latter years to be "the most beautiful
period of life" and expressed "an ardent desire"
that every man should strive to attain his age in
order that they might experience its pleasures.

"I desire to bear witness to all mankind," he

now living is a
writes, "that the life which I



and by no means a dead one and

deemed, by many, a life as full of hap-

vital one,

that it is
piness as this world can give
Nor are
these diversions and pleasures rendered less sweet
and less precious through the failing of
hearing, or because any one of
thank God!
is not perfect; for they are all



my sense
of taste for I now find more relish in the simple
food I eat than I formerly found in the most delicate dishes at the time of my intemperate life
I am certain there is no death in store
for me save that of mere dissolution; since the
regular method of my life has closed all other
avenues to the approach of death, and has prevented the humours of my body from waging
against me any other war than that arising from




especially true of



the elements of which


body was


This is. a fine example of a man who grew old
naturally and simply in accordance with the
laws of Nature. None of the senses, it will be
observed, were in the least impaired, even at that
advanced age; they were^ all perfect, just as
they are in animals who live simply and naturally. Life then wanes, and goes out naturally, as
it was intended to, instead of by the violent and
unnatural ways to which we are accustomed in
our fetid civilization.
From the foregoing it will be seen that the old
idea that the aged must be fed frequently with
"nourishing food," is a delusion. It may not be
advisable to follow the example of Cornaro literally, but it is a fact that one of the chief causes
for premature aging and the degenerative
changes in the tissues which accompany it is to be
found in an excess of nourishment. How is it
that such a mischievous delusion could have been
so long tolerated; and in fact actually fostered
and encouraged by the medical profession?
It has all arisen from the false idea that we derive our strength solely from the* quantity of food
we eat; and that the more food we eat the
stronger we become! In spite of the fact that
experienced nurses and doctors from Florence
Nightingale onward have railed against this
false doctrine, it is one which has persisted none

the less and the present false ideas are.

to this teaching.



As a matter of fact, any food which a man eats,
over and above what he actually requires, simply
poisons and weakens him. If food is not properly
digested and assimilated by the body, toxins
(poisons) are formed, and these impair the tissues, poison the nerve-cells, and prevent their
proper functioning. The thing to do, in such
cases, when the patient feels weakened, is not to
give him more food, but to get rid of the poisons
which have accumulated within the body; and
this is done by stimulating the activity of the
excretory organs, and by preventing the administration of any more food until these poisons are
completely eliminated.
The fact that food does not necessarily give
strength, but may be a poison, is proved by the
fact that a man, when he is ill, does not crave food
but on the contrary turns against it. This is the
voice of Nature, which thus says as plainly as
possible that no food is required. If a man is
weak and ill, it is not due to lack of food, but
to the fact that his body is poisoned; and as
these poisons are disposed of he will increase in
health and strength.
The whole doctrine of fasting may be summed
up in these few words "If you feed a sick man,
you feed, not the man, but the disease." Or, "If
you feed a sick man, you starve and poison him
at the same time."
This is proved by the fact that many patients,
no matter how much food they eat, constantly
lose weight; in fact they lose more weight when


they are eating heartily than
eating at

when they

are not


No one need be afraid of starving by depriving

the body of food for a day or two. It has been
proved, by numerous experiments, that most persons will not starve in less than a month; and
many people have fasted nearly double that
length of time (drinking only water), and have
not starved to death, but on the contrary, have
cured themselves of chronic diseases thereby.
Of course if one is in delicate health through
and much below normal
be inadvisable and should
then only be undertaken under the supervision
of a physician who can watch the heart-beat and
other symptoms of possible excessive weakness.
poor assimilation,
weight, fasting


The patient may feel weak, if food is taken

away from him, for a time; but this feeling is
due to the fact that food is a stimulant and the
sudden withdrawal of any stimulant will result
in a feeling of weakness. If you deprive the
drunkard of his whiskey, he will collapse; but
this does not prove that the whiskey supplied
strength to the subject. It merely shows us that
the body misses its customary stimulant. It is
the same with food, which, as we have said, is a
feeling of weakness may be noted,

at the beginning of a fast ; but this feeling is delusory, and if the fast be persisted in, it will pass
off; and with it will also pass the condition which
necessitated it.
Is it safe for old people to fast? Assuredly, if

they are in such a condition as to render a fast
and any condition in which there is
an accumulation of poisons in the system requires abstinence from food.
prolonged fast
is not usually required in such cases but a series
of short fasts, or a rigidly abstemious diet, covering a longer period of time, will often have the
effect of making over the patient, and restoring
him to complete health, when every other means
has been tried, and failed. If the simple rule of
ceasing to eat as soon as the appetite is lost were
obeyed, fasting would never be necessary, for the
system would not then accumulate poisons but
as most people disregard this signal at times,
there are few who are not benefitted by an occasional fast.
Fasting is simply a method of ridding the
system of the waste matter and poisons which
may have accumulated as the result of our
methods of living. It is not a great ordeal it is
not terrible people do not "starve to death," as
they think, if they go without food for some days,
or even some weeks, in their endeavor to regain
lose weight with the same ease that
we take it on. For the first day or two, it is
true, unpleasant sensations are often experienced
an "all-gone feeling'' in the stomach, due to
the fact that the stomach, which has been in the
habit of receiving food "ever so often," craves
its customary stimulant. This is known as "habit
hunger." After a day or two, this goes away,
and, thenceforward, it is not noted again, until




the time to break the fast. Those who contemplate fasting should first of all read the literature
upon the subject the books by Hazzard, Sinclair, Carrington, the material published in Volume III of the Physical Culture Encyclopedia,
Let me again emphasize the fact that fasting
is not dangerous for the aged, if properly conducted. On the contrary, it is the great health

and vitality ^giver. But it should be undertaken judiciously. If possible, the patient should
thoroughly familiarize himself with the theory
of the treatment, and the literature of the subbefore taking a fast, so that he will understand what he is doing, and will not be afraid of
any symptoms wihch may develop.
advice, then, to the aged, is simply this:
Eat very moderately at all times not more than
you feel you really need, and of simple foods.
Masticate each portion of food very thoroughly,
and make up for difficulty in doing this by
using liquid and soft foods in place of the foods
which were formerly eaten readily, when the


were in sound condition. Eat enough to

keep up the weight of the body, but considerably
less than in maturity, and whenever the appetite

appear, stop eating until it manifests itunmistakably. If necessary, skip one, two, or
half a dozen meals, to insure this. If you are
in any way ill or indisposed, fast completely
taking water until you are again well and feel
normal. Do not be afraid to do this, under the
impression that you must have food, in order to
fails to



"keep up your strength." For let me reiterate,
food eaten under such circumstances does not
strengthen; on the contrary, it weakens and
poisons you. Obey these simple rules of health
and you will preserve and maintain your youth,
health and strength far beyond the **three score
years and ten" which is supposed to be the allotted age of man. Remember Cornaro
who at
forty was a wreck, but who at more than eighty
began to write his book, and lived till well over
a hundred, in perfect health and spirits, with
senses keen and intellect unimpaired, simply by
following out the simple suggestions herein contained. "Go thou and do likewise!"


Making Old
Bodies "feoNG
Ohirty -Eiqht Lessons
Building Vitahtij
and Neroewrce and in

thec4rt ofPostponi

Old dlqe



22 and 23

Beinan Macfadden

Copyright 1919 by


New York City




Stomach Tonic


all sedentary workers fail to drink

a sufficient quantity of water. This, to a
large extent, results from the fact that the mind
is so closely occupied with other matters that the
sensation of thirst is unable to thrust itself upon
one's mentality. One will become thirsty without realizing it, and when this sensation has been
ignored again and again there comes a time when
it fails to "register;" in other words, one loses
the sense of thirst, unless it happens to be unusually keen, as the result of some unwonted
activity or heated weather. It is therefore advisable, in nearly all cases, to encourage the inclination to take more liquid. Have water handy
at all times, that you may drink it frequently.
The stomach tonic that I am going to describe
will not only furnish a copious supply of liquid,
but will also supply important nourishing elements. It can be taken frequently to allay thirst
and can be used instead of water, either with
meals or between meals, as the digestive effort
required in absorbing the nourishment contained
is slight.

This tonic is made from vegetables of various

Any sort of edible green stuff taken
from the garden can be used in its preparation


onions, tomatoes, turnips, potatoes,
in fact every edible vegetable
beets, carrots
that grows. The vegetables should be cut up fine
that the water may more easily absorb their nutritive elements, and should be simmered slowuntil all the "taste" has passed
ly never boiled
from them into the water. This will require from
two to three hours.


very good combination is made from tomatoes, onions and cabbage. Use about a half
pound each of these vegetables to three quarts
of water. Salt can be added to the drink if desired, though the effect is better if it is used without the seasoning.
In some cases this drink is valuable to use while
fasting, many unpleasant symptoms associated
with the fast being absent when it is taken.
Naturally, the fast cannot be called complete
when such a drink is used, but as before stated,
the elements of nourishment which it contains
require but trifling effort on the part of the difast can undoubtedly be congestive organs.
tinued with benefit while absorbing this stomach
tonic to the extent desired.


Body Weight



Old Age

is one of the most destructive of

old age diseases yet it has popularly been
considered a sign of both financial and physical
prosperity. Not only has the lay mind made
this grave error, but physicians and scientists
have until recently upheld the notion that the
correct weight for an old man was greater than
for a young man in the prime of life. The numerous published tables giving the "correct" weight
for men at various ages have been made by taking
the average weight of all men at the various
ages. So prone are old men to suffer from the
disease of obesity that these average weights
for old men have been greatly in excess of the
proper weights. Left to their own resources
old men have died of obesity. Following the
false guidance of these incorrect tables of weight
they would still die of obesity.
So lightly do we consider the mere matters
of health and long life that this encouragement
to obesity in old men might have gone on indefinitely, but when money is at stake science
speedily corrects its errors. The insurance companies are financially interested in the long life
of their policy holders, and a few years ago they
conducted a thorough investigation of the ef;


body weight on the length of life. The rewere startling. Not only did they find that
men do not live long, but they found that

feet of


thitherto called
old men who are of the average
the correct weight do not live as long as do
the old men who are distinctly under this average. Orthodox science, routed out of the ruts
of popular superstition by the power of money,
has thus discovered what physical culturists have
long taught. The muscular body, not the conventionally approved body rounded out with
useless fat, is the true measure of the real physical condition.
After the age of maturity the bones and internal organs do not change appreciably in weight.
All further noticeable weight changes are due
either to changes in the development of the
muscular system, or in the amount of body fat.
With a perfect program of physical activity there
would be but little change in the weight of
the muscles after maturity. Yet even here the
lessened activity ^f old age would result in a
gradual decrease in the amount of muscular tissue, and if fat is not added, a similar decrease in
body weight.
Under conditions of sedentary life this natural
decrease of the muscular tissue is greatly exaggerated, and hence the active weight of the body
declines rapidly with advancing age.
The average weight of men five feet eight
inches in height is: between the ages of twenty

and thirty, 148 pounds between thirty and forty,



155 pounds; between forty and fifty, 160
pounds; between fifty and sixty, 163 pounds.
The average weight increases fifteen pounds,
whereas the average weight of muscular tissue
has probably decreased at least as much as that.
Hence a man at sixty who carries what he has
been taught to consider the "correct" weight is
really thirty pounds overweight.
Let us see how these conclusions are borne out
the death rate. The following table gives the
found in the insurance records.
Relation of Weight to Mortality in Men Between
Fifty and Sixty


facts as

15 pounds underweight to 45 pounds underweight ^mortality 14 per cent below normal.

10 pounds
ID pounds underweight
15 pounds overweight
45 pounds overweight
14 per cent above
50 pounds overweight to 80 pounds
weightmortality 45 per cent above normal.







Between men averaging thirty pounds underweight and those averaging sixty-five pounds
overweight there is fifty-nine per cent of difference in the death rate. The so-called underweight men, who are really of correct weight,
distinctly outlive men of average, or so-called
^'correct" weight. If we turn from statistics to
individual instances


find these conclusions

borne out. No one ever heard of a fat centenarian. Frugality of diet and spareness of frame
are the universal conditions of longevity. Ocmen have chewed tobacco, or drunk



whiskey, and otherwise sinned against the laws
of health, and still reached a ripe old age but no
man has been able to carry a burden of body

much beyond Solomon's age limit. The few

seeming exceptions have been men who acquired
their obesity late in life and whose death was
doubtless hastened thereby. The weight records
of the insurance companies are made at the time
the policies are taken out.
few men who were
obese under fifty have lived beyond eighty, probably because they lost their burden of fat; but
scarcely a case is on record of a man seriously
overweight between fifty and sixty who has lived
beyond eighty.
The fact is that fat, in advanced age, as in
all other ages in life, is a delusion and a snare;
a clog upon the body, and an impediment to its
proper functioning. We know that a dog, or an







"has not an ounce of fat on his body," as the saying is. Why, then, this being so, should it be
considered a sign of health and strength at any
other time of life ? Indeed it is a mystery And
this false doctrine has done much to harm and
destroy many lives before their appointed time.
Obesity may be truly considered a disease yet
it is rarely reported as the cause of death.
is to be explained in part by the fact that doctors
have been slow to recognize obesity as a disease.
Fat men most frequently die of diseases of the
the kidneys or the liver. The death rates from
Bright's disease and from cirrhosis of the liver


are about five times greater among fat men than
the thin. The former disease is caused
by overeating and the latter by the use of alcohol,
and both in turn cause obesity. Diabetes, another
kidney disease likewise caused by dietetic sin,
is typically a disease of the obese.
and heart
are but two other forms for the
taking off of the man who attempts to go through
life prosperous in form and poverty-stricken in
About the only diseases of which fat
men do not die are consumption and dyspepsia.
This does not prove that fatness is a remedy for
either, but merely that a man cannot have these



and be


man is not necessarily

well-nourished, even though his appearance may
suggest that he is "too well-nourished." Fat
means simply an over-abundance of one form of
It does not mean that there is proper
nourishment for blood and bone and other im
It is evident that the fat

portant fluids and tissues.

In the determination of the truly correct
weight for the individual weight tables are apt to
be misleading. Men's frames differ so that a
weight table according to height cannot be rigidly applied. Moreover most men are under-muscled
just as they are over-fat. Hence they need a
change in the substance of their weight rather
than in the reading of the scales. I will give the
following table of weights in relation to heights
and ages with the caution that no table should
be considered an absolute guide.


Table OF Weight in Relation to Height AND Age
Twenty to Thirty to Forty to

Fifty to





































^ 143















































Most men have at some.time been trained down

to a condition of hard healthy muscle. This then
represents for them the ideal weight. If this
period of full physical fitness has been in the
prime of life, say between twenty-five and forty,
it may be considered the maximum healthy
weight for the individual, and the proper weight
at any later period of life would be as many
pounds under that weight as there had been actual loss in muscular tissue. Old men who have
kept up a vigorous athletic life may indeed retain almost their full muscular power and hence
the same weight as in their earlier years. In exceptional cases, where physical development has
teen neglected in early youth, a weight of real


muscle may be attaind in old age that exceeds
the weight of youth.
The problem in any case is to attain a set of
hard, fat-free muscles and to keep them. Muscles
are an asset, fat is a detriment. To reach a good
body weight by substituting fat for muscle is a
delusion and snare and is more harmful in old
age than in youth. Get your weight by muscular
development if you can, but in every case avoid

You will live longer and live better if you

are thin, even to the point of impairing your appearance, than you will by hiding weak muscles
under a blanket of deceitful fat.
The correct body weight can most readily be
told by the condition of the abdomen. Fat deposits most abundantly here and is most readily
observable. Abdominal muscles are likewise the
man in prime condition
most essential of any.

feel his abdominal muscles as firm, hard

ridges. As long as the belly wall is soft and flabby


and the paunch protrudes, correct weight means

With a firm, hard abdominal wall one
rarely need worry about correct weight.
The problem of reducing the weight by eliminating fat is one requiring patience and common sense. There is positively no safe way to
eliminate fat except by correct diet combined
with exercise.

Drug remedies

are rarely effect-

and when they are they produce results by

destroying the digestion and assimilation. The
body needs nutriment other than the fat- forming
elements, and when weight reduction is attained



by drugging, the body may be starved of essenwhile non-essentials are eliminated. Fasting is a far safer method and is equally effective,
but the simpler method is to abstain from the
fat-forming foods while continuing the foods that
supply vitamines and mineral salts and give sufficient bulk to cause the bowels to function. The
best foods for reduction are therefore leafy vegetables and the acid fruits, taken with small quantities of readily assimilable animal protein, such
as milk and eggs.
Many misleading dietetic programs claim to
reduce fat merely by abstinence from a few fatforming foods, as potatoes or sugar. Such programs are only effective when the foods eliminated have been habitually eaten in excess and when
they are not replaced with other fattening foods.
Most of the foods that make up the conventional diet are capable of producing body fat.
Food fats quite obviously are, so also are sugar
and starches and all grains and breads contain
starch. Even protein or lean meat can be transformed into body fat, though with a great burden
of waste that must be excreted through the kidtials


Diet for reduction is, therefore, a matter of

both quality and quantity, and the reduction of
the quantity is the more important of the two.
Any and all of the means suggested to get the



proportions to
are available in a diet for
reduction, only the course pursued should be


to just the

life's activities



more severe

until a correct weight has




Over-hasty reduction


to be avoided.


body must have time to readjust itself to the new

condition, and dietetic habits should be acquired
while reducing that may, with a slight increase in
quantity, be followed after the correct weight
has been attained. If more radical departures in
diet are made there is correspondingly greater
danger of going back to the old eating habits and





Exercising for reduction needs little special

discussion. The exercises given for strengthening muscles will aid in fat reduction. Every
muscular exertion consumes fat or fat-making
foods. If this fuel energy be not supplied, Nawhich is
ture will draw upon our fat reserve
indeed Nature's excuse for storing fat. Under
the condition of alternate fast and famine to
which the race was formerly subjected the species
would otherwise have been exterminated. But at
that the body's fat-storing power would only
serve for a month or two of famine. Since civilized man has learned to provide food in fairly
constant supply the power of fat formation is a
needless function which, unchecked, becomes a
destroyer of health and life.
The question of body weight and obesity for
women is not altogether the same as for men.
Extreme obesity is harmful in either sex, but a
moderate amount of fat on the female body is
both less objectionable from the standpoint of



appearance and less harmful from the standpoint
of health than is the case with men.
The explanation of this difference is to be
found in woman's function of childbearing.
When food supplies were irregular it was essential that woman should have more reserve fuel
to carry her through this period. Hence her organism was evolved for an existence compatible
with the presence of such stored energy. The
child is not formed, and is but to a slight degree
nursed, by fat-forming elements, but the presence of body fat gave woman the power to keep
up her own strength while devoting a portion of
her f aod supply to her offspring.
The records of the relation of weight to longevity in


show the same general


tendency as in the case of men, but in a

marked degree.



the childbearing period

woman should strive to keep her weight

to that of a good female figure, for a
noticeable degree of obesity in elderly women is




as unsightly as it is unhealthy. Woman's muscular development is less than man's chiefly because she is actually smaller hence woman rarely
appears as heavily muscled, even when her development is normal. The correct weights for
women, according to height, differ surprisingly
little from those for men of the same height, the
difference, with the same relative development of
muscle and fat, being but from two to five









in the female than in the male the weight table



given for

men may

also be used as a guide for


Women above the age of forty-five suffer even

more frequently than men from obesity, but
they are rarely so unwilling to make an effort to
reduce, because they have more regard than men
for their appearance. The problem of reduction
for woman, however, often proves more difficult,
because custom and costume alike deny her the
privilege of sufficient exercise. If women cannot exercise as much as men, they must be even
more careful as to diet.


Making Olb
Bodies IfbiiNG
Ohirty -Eiqht Cessans
in Building VitalitLf
and Neroe wrce and in
the c4n ofPostpon ina
-^ -^ /
Old c/lcie

24 and 25

Bernair Macfadden

Part Five

Life Saving Habits

Comprising Lessons Twenty-Four to Twenty-Nine



Sleep and Rest.

Other Forms of Rest.

XXVI. Keeping the Skin Young.

XXVII. Hot Water and Its Life


Cold Water at Three or Four Score.


to Dress.



Sleep and Rest


spend one third of our lives in sleep

That is a remarkable thought, when first
it strikes us
For, if we do not sleep a full eight
hours a day during the adult period of our lives,

we fully make up for it in childhood and old age,

when more sleep is required. The importance of
this condition, and the necessity for making sleep
sound and refreshing


therefore, manifest.


all know that in childhood we sleep a great

deal a baby spends a good part of its life asleep.
Kittens, puppies, and the young of all animals do
the same thing. As we grow older we require
less sleep; but as age advances more sleep is
again required, especially under the conditions

of modern civilization.
If the child does not get


sleep, it beand, if the deprivation is prolonged, it will grow old prematurely.

have all seen the tired, wan faces of those
children who have been deprived of the sleep
they should have had. Girls know very well that






they must have their "beauty sleep."


Older wo-

also appreciate this fact, and usually insist

upon reserving certain nights each week when
they may go to bed early to "catch up," as it


were, and supply the tired brain and
the rest it needs.


body with

cannot keep vigorous and young without

plenty of sleep. It imparts vitality and resilency
to the mind and body as nothing else can; and
the loss of one night's repose is far more detrimental to the body than the omission of even several meals.
(In fact, in most cases, the latter
results only in benefit)
Of course, the amount of sleep required differs
considerably in different cases.
all know
that Napoleon and Edison are credited with only
five hours sleep a night but if the average person tried to emulate this example, it would probably lead to disastrous consequences.
seven to eight hours is probably nearly correct
for a man, and from eight to nine for a woman.
Those having nervous, highly-strung temperaments require more sleep than those who lead a
placid, uneventful inner life. It is the operations
of consciousness which wear out the nervous system and it is the nervous system, primarily,
which requires sleep. But, of course, any kind
of physical activity or muscular exercise creates
losses which can only be repaired by sleep, and if
this is denied, nothing else matters. The retreat
of the British armies from Mons, at the beginning of th^ Great War, affords one of the most
remarkable examples on record of the body's
imperative need for sleep. The men marched
for practically five days and nights, without halting, and subject to incessant attack. Then they



turned and fought one of the greatest battles in
At the end of that period the men drop-


slept in their tracks; wounds made no

difference to them; hunger and thirst were forgotten, swallowed-up in the great, primal need
for sleep Men lay wounded, legs and arms shattered, chests torn open, maimed and bleeding ; it
made no difference to them; all they craved was
and they slept, in spite of their terrible
injuries, their hunger, pain, thirst and fatigue.
In the mud, in water, on the road, anywhere ; it
made no difference ; all they craved was sleep
This instructive chapter in human history
shows us how fundamentally important sleep is
to us, and how the craving for it may swallow
up even great bodily pain. In fact, it has been
calculated that, on the average, from a week
to ten days without sleep is enough to drive a person insane.
Roughly speaking, the amount of sleep required corresponds to the amount of mental and physical work we are called upon to perform. The
more activity, the more sleep ; and vice versa. As

ped and


people do not arrange

way, and sleep and eat just
as much when they are doing nothing as when
they are engaged in the most strenuous activities. This is a great mistake, and cannot fail to
produce harmful results.

a matter of


their lives in this

too much, as well as too

certain change in the respiration takes
place after a cetain number of hour's sleep and
It is possible to sleep


if the subject does not get up then, but continues to doze in slothful idleness, he will not
only put on weight, but harm himself also. Carbon dioxide will begin to accumulate within the
system; and the result is that when such a person does arise he is tired and sluggish, instead of
fresh and vigorous, as he should be, on arising in
the morning.
It is better to wear out than rust out.
all do more work than we actually do, if we
make up our minds to do so. William James
wrote an essay on The Energies of Men, in
which he called attention to this fact. He drew
attention to the runner who, when on the point
of giving up, will often experience a "second
wind" of energy, if he makes one final effort to
keep up. It is the same with all of usj in the
race of life. The man who does little mental
or physical work apparently requires as much
sleep as the man who does a great deal. If a
farmer comes to a great city, the noise and the
excitement wear him out for the first few days.
After that, he no longer reacts as he did; he
grows accustomed to it all, and he is no longer
tired and exhausted. He is, in short, living upon
a higher plane of vitality. He lives more fully,
yet he requires no more rest and sleep. This is
what we should all strive to do ^to live more
fully during our waking hours; and then we
sleep more deeply and restfuly at night, without necessarily sleeping any longer.
As age advances, it is certain that more sleep



required, as a general rule. The activities of
the body are less, it is true, but so are its powers
of resistance and recuperation. In order to keep
the energies of the body at their highest possible
level, therefore, a plentiful supply of sleep is
needed. In all cases, where there is worry, excitement, fretting, or any emotional strain, sleep
is specially essential.
While it is true that many old people sleep a
great deal, there are also those who seem to require very little sleep they suffer, in fact, from
continual insomnia, as age advances. This is
easily explained, in such cases, since the conditions of life, in old age, more or less remove
the causes of the exhauston of consciousness.
may recall that in persons of advanced years
the passions retire into the background, while the
tastes, convictions and character become more
fixed. Consequently we rarely find that internal
contest of the man with himself, that struggle
of noble ideals with selfish tendencies, which
consume so much of the strength and health of
youth. It is clear that, in the absence of this
internal struggle, old men who have preserved
their vigor must become much less fatigued than
adults; hence they are liable to insomnia.
When this is excessive, however, it must be
checked, and cured; and in such cases insomnia
is cured by the same methods that cured it at


any other time of



The most important

measures are the following:



and hands: If the extremities are



cannot supervene. They should be
fairly vigorous exercises, or in hot
water, or a hot-water bag may be taken to bed
to draw the blood to these members and away

cold, sleep

warmed with

from the brain.

thorough airing and ventilation
Air bath:
of the skin for some time before retiring for the


if the weather be very

give the skin a good air bath,
and allow it to become thoroughly cool before
getting into bed. The warmth and reaction experienced in bed will induce a delightful drowsiness, and help to induce sleep.
Late suppers are not to be tolerated, under the
mistaken notion that there must be "something
in the stomach" to insure sound sleep.
of warm milk, slowly sipped, shortly before retiring, is sometimes permisible but as a general
rule the more empty the stomach the sounder the
glass of water shortly before retiring




chilly, it is well to


however, beneficial.
Massage is often found very helpful in cases

of insomnia. Friction also stimulates the skin,

draws the blood to this part, and hence away
from the head. For similar reasons hot or cold
baths are often benieficial. Deep-breathing exercises, taken for three or four minutes, are also
great sleep-inducers.
Position in bed counts for much^ As a general
rule, the best position is along the front of the
body, with the head turned slightly to one side.
The pillows should not be too high. Plenty of


fresh air should be allowed to enter the room
from opened windows. Keep the surface of the
body warm in bed, but not too warm
Above all the mind must be made still and
inactive. We must not forget that sleep results
hence our tendency to
largely from boredom

asleep during sermons When we cease to be

interested in life, we fall asleep. But if the mind
is running along like a mill stream we cannot do
this; and we should, in such circumstances, try
to make the mind as quiet and blank as possible,
by centering or focussing it on one thought, of
an uninteresting nature, until sleep supervenes.
One very good method is to imagine (with the
eyes closed) a black velvet curtain,^ stretching
away in all directions as far as the eye can reach.
Look at this curtain. Think of nothing else. Try
to see it black. Make it as black as possible.
Notice the folds in the curtain, where there shadows. See if these are not blacker
than the remaining parts. If you can see a perfect black, then your mind will become relaxed;

and you will fall asleep.

If you wake tired in the morning, you may
rest assured that you have not been sleeping
properly. Either the bed-clothes are too heavy;
or there is not enough fresh air in the room, or

your system is poisoned by something you have

eaten, or by too much food, or you have remained
in bed too long. You must take care to remove
these causes,




will also dis-

Other Forms of Rest

AFTER exercise of any kindmental or physical

rest is imperative! Rest is a matter
of restoration or recuperation. It is necessary
because we become "tired" with the day's work;
but before we can understand the necessity for
what rest actually does for us ^we must
first of all see what fatigue is.
Strictly speaking, there are two kinds of
muscular and nervous.
fatigue results when the muscles have been used
for some time continuously, and refuse to function further until they are rested. It has now
been proved that this sort of fatigue is, in fact,
an actual jpoisoning of the muscles by "toxins''
vvhich^ have accumulated therein. The functioning of the muscles itself produces these "toxins,'*
or poisons. If you take the muscle of a frog's leg
and cause it to contract (perform work) by
stimulating it by an electric current it will, after
a time, refuse to work any longer. This is due to
fatigue poisons which have accumulated within
ihe muscle. If now you wash out the muscle
by means of a salt and water solution, carrying
away these poisons, it is at once refreshed, and
will perform the same amount of work all over
^gain. This shows us that muscular fatigue is



due to these poisons, and it also explains
why it is that a in good physical condition
(in training) can withstand more exertion than
the man who is not. His blood is more free from
these accumulating poisons, and hence it takes
a longer time to accumulate enough of them to

stop the action of the muscles completely. It also

explains to us two other phenomena ( 1 )
it is that we feel "stiff" the next day, after unusual exercises. The reason is that these poisons
have lodged in the muscles, and it takes time to
it is that all cleansing
remove them. (2)
and eliminative measures tend to prevent the onset of fatigue, or dispose of it, once it has supervened. These means simply help the blood to
carry away the poisons which have been deposited in the fatigued muscle.
There is also another kind of fatigue, however,
due to the exhaustion of the nerve cells. In this
case, the muscles may be perfectly fresh, that is,
they may not have been called upon to perform
any actual work.
helpful picture to carry in mind is, perhaps,
the following. Picture the little nerve-cells, all
over the body, as so many little cups, with a tiny
hole in the bottom, through which water very
gradually runs away. These cups should be kept
full of water, to insure the best results. Every
night we fill up the "cups" with energy; every
day we expend so much of it in mental or physical work, through the passions and emotions,
etc. So the height of the water in the cups con:





stantly varies. If we expend it faster than we
take it in, the cups become almost empty, and
nervous exhaustion ensues. Our object should be
to keep these cups filled, as nearly as possible,
by means of rest and sleep, wholesome habits of
life, and the omission of the habits which tend
to exhaust nervous energy.
It must not be thought, however, that the way
to keep the little cups, or nerve-cells, full is to
sit still and do nothing.
Rest and sleep are essential, it is true ; but the body also calls for exercise, and wholesome avenues of expenditure.
The blood, if it is pure, will feed these little cells,
and supply them with the nutriment they need.
The chemical character of the blood is another

we must

think of, and if it is to remain

pure, exercise, etc., are essential.
If you are tired- chronically tired, "born
you may rest assured that you are poisoned throughout. The poisons in the blood have
been carried to the nerve cells, and have inhibitTiredness is
ed, or prevented, their activity.
usually a sure indication of chronic poisoning;
and this in turn is often due to constipation, too
little water drinking, too little exercise, and a
system filled with malassimilated food material.
As Dr. Trail remarked, '^Laziness is a sign of


So the double question presents itself:
prevent the accumulation of these poisons which
induce fatigue; and how get rid of them, once


they have accumulated?



The answers

to both these questions are pracThe same measures, very largely, which prevent the accumulation of fatigue
poisons will also rid the system of them, once

tically identical.

they have accumulated.

The measures are simple.

In the

composed largely of

first place,

with very
Plenty of water to
little meat, is essential.
wash the poisons in the system out of it as rapidly
light diet,


is also required. Exercise, to force an

as possible
extra quantity of blood through the sluggish vessels and carry off the toxic substances which the
organs and tissues contain is a third essential.
Bathing is needed to keep the pores open and
carry away the poisonous substances deposited
on the skin. Deep breathing exercises are required, for similar reasons. Air baths, sun baths,
and all similar methods of elimination are useful,
Sleep and rest are also very
if not essential.
necessary. In its last analysis, fatigue is, in practically all cases, due to poisons which have been
allowed to accumulate within the system; their
elimination rids the body of the causes of this
The only exceptions to this rule are those cases
in which the nervous exhaustion is due primarily
^and mental
to emotional and mental conditions
causes can be shown to be harmless, also, apart

their emotional concomitants.

The mind
does not affect the body; the emotions do. Passion is intense emotion of one character but any
emotional influence rage, anger, fear, pain, etc.





to exhaust the nervous powers in the

same manner. In fact, a shock of any kind seems
to produce complete nervous exhaustion almost
instantly. It is as though some giant had taken
hold of the little "cups" spoken of before, and
turned them upside down, thus emptying them
completely. We can only account for this by
assuming that the emotions tend to discharge the
nerve-cells, in much the same way that a Leyden
jar can be discharged by touching it with a metal
rod, or with the finger. Here, as we know, the
electric discharge is instantaneous

it is



in the case of the nerve-cells when subjected to shock.

The only way we can insure the filling-up again
of these little "cups"
the nerve-cells
is to
give them adequate rest; plenty of sleep is the
best thing. Many people fall asleep immediately after a shock of any kind
a sure sign that
Nature is refilling the emptied nerve cells recharging them in the shortest time possible.
Any form of rest does this; but sleep above all



There are, however, various other measures

which will be found useful at such times. We may
mention a few of these.
Massage often does much good by removing
the impurities and soothing the nerve-endings*
circulation in the smaller blood vessels is
stimulated and clogging matter removed. Circulation is brought to parts which are anemic and
removed from those parts which are congested.




these ways massage will tend to rest the
body and soothe the nerves.
Another very good method is to employ hot




water in all forms hot packs along the spine,

over the abdomen, across the **solar plexus," etc.
In insane asylums, when there is great excitement,
what are known as "prolonged warm baths" are
often employed. The patient is kept in warm
w^ater (98** Fahr.) for hours
until the nerveendings all over the body are relaxed, and the excitement allayed. By their eliminative effect,
such baths also have a decidedly beneficial influence
tending to open the pores of the skin,
and assist in the elimination of poisons, which
doubtless irritate the nerves aU over the body.


Making Old
Bodies IfbuNG
OhirtyEiqht lS5ons
Building Vitalitij
and NerOewrce and in
thec4rt ofPostponinq

Old ciqe



and 29

26, 27,

Beinair Macfadden

Copyright 19 19 by


New York City


Keeping the Skin Young
not generally recognized that the skin is
greatest single excretory organ of the
body, and that upon the proper performance of
its functions depends to a large degree the health
of the individual. The skin is generally regarded
simply as a covering for the rest of the body, an
outer garment of tissue which serves to enclose
and protect the parts within and give symmetry
and beauty to the human form. While it fulfills
these ends in a marvellously perfect manner, it
has functions which are peculiar to itself, and
which it performs with as wonderfully satisfactory results as those executed by other organs of



body which receive more

credit for their





also a great balancer of the temper-

Cold-blooded animals maintain about the

same heat as that of the medium in which they

live, and for this reason they can withstand extremes of cold and survive; but warm-blooded
animals must maintain a more or less constant
temperature, and if it falls above or below this,
within three or four degrees, a serious internal
condition is indicated.
If the skin is inactive, anemic and cold, it invariably indicates that the internal organs are


congested and superheated, to a possibly dangerous degree, and the thing to do in all such cases
is to restore the activity of the skin, balancing the
circulation by drawing the blood to the surface.
It is said that Dr. Trail, the original great watercure doctor of this country, in lecturing to his
classes, would ask them the same question every
day, and the class, knowing the answer, would all
The question was, "When
call out in unison.
you are called to the bedside of a sick patient,
what is the first thing to do?" And the class
would respond in unison, "Balance the circulation!" In order to do this it is only necessary to
alter the temperature of the skin, usually by
water applications, such as packs. If the skin is
hot and feverish, cool water is called for, while if
it is cold and anemic, hot applications are indicated. This subject will be dealt with more fully
when we come to the question of hot and cold
bathing, and general hydrotherapeutic measures.
The skin each day throws out a quantity of impure material by means of the sweat glands, and
If the skin
it is important to keep these active.


becomes practically
useless as an eliminative organ, and the result
insufficient exercise,


that the other organs of elimination ^the

bowels, kidneys, liver, etc.
^are called upon to
do extra duty, with the result that if there is a
quantity of poisonous matter in the system to be
disposed of, they frequently break down from
overwork. Of all the eliminative organs in the


body, the skin is that which is least used, and
the reason for this is that, owing to our habits of
smothering the body with clothing, and taking
too few light and water baths, with too little
exercise, it becomes unable to perform its proper
The skin constantly gives off a slight vapor
which is called "insensible perspiration." In addition to this, active perspiration is often induced
under the stress of nervous or emotional excitement, or as the result of active exercises. This
perspiration, while stimulating the healthful activity of the sweat glands, decreases the amount
of fluid in the system, and it is for this reason
that a greater quantity of water should be drunk
during the summer, or whenever the skin is actively perspiring; otherwise poisonous material
and **salts" suspended in the blood-stream are
liable to be precipitated, or deposited, in the tissues and joints throughout the body, causing
stiffness and ultimately rheumatism and other
troubles of a more serious nature.
Of course, one of the best methods of cleansing
the skin is by hot water baths, using plenty of
soap and a friction brush. This cleans out the
pores and leaves them free to deposit on the
surface of the skin the material which they bring
up from the sweat glands. These glands are
coils of infinitely fine tubing, somewhat resembling the intestines in their appearance, and their
office is to gather impurites from the blood
brought to them by a network of capUaries. They


open into the sweat ducts, the pores, as they are
commonly called, which may be either single or
branched, and these end in a corkscrew-like passage with its opening at the surface. From two
to three hot baths should be taken feach week,
though one should be careful not to remain in the
water too long, as this may tend to have a weakening effect. After the bath the surface of the

body should be thoroughly washed

off with fresh

water, preferably cool, since this tends to close
the pores and increase the tone of the skin by
healthy stimulation. In this connection it may
be said that the feeling of cold, or chilliness,
which frequently results, and of which "gooseflesh" is a typical manifestation, is not due to the
actual temperature of the air, as a rule, so much
as to the degree of anemia of the skin.
This may readily be proved by a simple experiment. Let the patient undress completely in a

warm room.
moments, but


will feel chilly after a


he now walks into a cold room,

there will be a sudden reaction, and though he



feel colder for a

few moments, the skin


soon begin to glow with warmth, showing that

warmer, though the external

temperature is colder! This is due to the fact
that the skin has been rendered more active by

the skin



the stimulus of the colder outer air.

Sun baths are very valuable as a stimulus to the
skin. The rays of the sun, particularly the shorter
rays, probably penetrate some degree below the
surface, stimulate the blood vessels, act directly


on the nerves, and have other chemical and physiological effects as yet imperfectly understood.

The sun's jays are also extremely germicidal

in their properties, and will kill any parasitic organism which may have lodged upon the surface
of the skin.
Air baths are also highly beneficial and stimulating, since they tend to open the pores of the
skin and induce healthful activity of the perspiratory glands, as well as of the nerves and blood
vessels on the surface of the body. It is not generally recognized, that the skin actually breathes
(or should, were it as active as it ought to be).
In the case of cold-blooded animals it has been
said that the skin breathes nearly one-seventh
as much as the lungs, and while this percentage
is very greatly reduced in all warm-blooded animals, it is nevertheless true that the skin should
assist the lungs in this manner. If it is anemic





of the great
rendered inactive


cannot do


means by which the skin is

by excessive clothing.

Woolen clothing, particularly, tends to retain the

moisture exuded from the body through the
pores, and thus to maintain a layer of dampness
over the skin, impeding its reaction and healthful
activity. This question is, however, dealt with
more fully in the chapter devoted to dress and
the clothing of the body.
Massage is one important factor in stimulating
it actually manipuand blood-vessels, as well as the

the activity of the skin, since

lates the nerves


glands, and by this mechanical means stimulates
the circulation and the various activities connected with the action of the skin. All active and
passive exercises, in fact, tend to keep the skin
in health, and add tone and vigor to it.
The color of the skin depends upon the outer
or epidermal layer. If it were entirely removed,
the surface would be almost a blood-red color,
owing to the abundant blood-vessels found
everywhere. Where the epidermis is thickest, as
upon the palms and soles, we lose almost entirely the red and have a yellowish gray tint.
Where it is thinner we have the well-known pinkish flesh color,

and when


becomes unusually

flushed with blood, as in- inflammation and also

in blushing, the red color predominates, the full
blood-vessels showing through the epidermis. In
the negro the dark hue of the skin is due to the
presence of pigment, or coloring matter, in the
lowest layers of cells of the epidermis, in the part
directly above the papillae of the outer skin. The
corium, or true skin, which is made up of fibers,
does not at all share in this pigmentation. Where
there are discolored marks on the skin, as
freckles, moth-patches, etc., the color is deposited
in this deeper layer of the epidermis hence these
blemishes are very difficult of removal, because
in order to remove all the coloring matter at once,
this portion of the skin would have to be removed
down to the papillae, as in the case of a blister.


can, however, by proper methods, induce an

absorption of the pigment, or produce rapid


change in the skin, forming n^w




be free from the objectionable pigmentation.

The amount of poisonous material which the
skin will eliminate under proper conditions of
healthful activity is astonishing. This is well illustrated by those cases in which the sweat glands
have been altogether stopped up for a time, death
invariably resulting under such conditions in a
few hours. This has happened in those cases in
which the unfortunate subject has been "tarred
and feathered," and also in one or two cases in
which, for various reasons, the surface of the
body has been painted over, or covered with goldleaf or some other impervious substance. Under
such conditions poisons accumulate so rapidly
that the other organs cannot dispose of them,
and, as before said, the subject frequently dies as


very good test lor the degree of healthful

reaction of the skin is the following, given by Dr.
Alexander Haig, the authority on uric-acid
poisoning, in his little book on Life and Food
(p. 4). Here he says: **Let any one who eats
meat and has eaten it for years, be touched, say,
on the back of the hand with the point of the
white mark is made, and the rate at
which this white mark is obliterated by returning

color gives the rate of the circulation in the skin

of the person so touched. Now, if two men are
compared, one of whom lives on the natural food
of the frugiverous animal, and the other on the
unnatural food of the carnivorous animal, it will


be found by this test that the skin circulation of
the carnivorous man is about twice as slow as
that of the natural-living, frugivorous man ; and
it, of course, follows that the man with the slow
circulation has a slow circulation not merely in
his skin, which is seen, but in all the organs of
his body, which are not seen, including the great
powerhouse of his mechanism, the frontal lobes
of the brain."
In this connection it is interesting to note that,
while all vegetarian animals perspire, carnivorous animals do not. The dog perspires only
through his tongue (for this reason it loUs out
and drops- with water during the hot spells) the
hog only through its snout, etc. Lions, tigers
and other carnivora do not perspire at all, though
they are supplied with sweat glands. These, however, are entirely inactive. This seems to show
us, on the one hand, that these animals were
originally vegetarians, and, on the other hand,
that any one eating meat in any quantity is not
intended by nature to perspire. The reason for
this is obvious.
If one adds salts to a given quantity of warm
water, the point is soon reached where the water
will contain no more salts in solution, and any
more salts added to the water will be deposited
in solid form. This is called the "saturation
point." The same thing happens if, just before
the saturation point has been reached, a* quantity
of the water be suddenly evaporated; a certain
quantity of salts is again deposited.




the blood is a warm fluid, containing certain salts and other material in solution ; and if a
quantity of the blood be suddenly evaporated, as
it is in perspiration, and the blood loses a large
percentage of its fluidity in consequence, the result is that these salts, etc., are suddenly precipitated in the tissues and joints throughout the
body, with the result that aches, pains, rheumatism, etc., result. The chief factor in the creation
of these salts and other toxic materials is meat
and high-proteid substances. For this reason they
should be taken with due care by any one not
desiring to run these risks.
It has been calculated that there are about
2,400,000 sweat glands in the body, and as each
gland, when uncoiled, would measure about onefifteenth of an inch, their entire length amounts
to not less than 153,000 inches, or about 25 miles.
Thus the activity of these glands will be seen to be
highly important in the maintenance of health.
Dr. George Black, in his interesting work on
the skin, says: **In regard to what might be
properly called the physiology of the skin, the fol-

lowing point may be considered with advantage.

The skin is one of the great emunctory or excreting organs of the body, and shares very largely with the lungs and kidneys in the ofiice of removing the superfluous waste from the system;
thus the skin removes by exhalation somewhere
about two pounds of liquid daily, the kidneys
about the same amount, and the lungs not much
over one-half or two-thirds as much. It can,


therefore, be readily understood how a check of
perspiration acts disadvantageously by throwing extra work upon the other organs. These
three great agents for eliminating or removing
the water from the system act in harmony and
interchange in their duties more or less. Thus in
cold weather, when the skin perspires least, the
kidneys are more active, and their secretions, as
also those of the lungs, are more profuse. Hence
the great danger of their becoming inflamed during this season, and in summer when the perspiration may be profuse, it is a common observation
to find the urine more scanty."
It must always be borne in mind that the ex-,
cretory organs of the body work in unison, and
that the work performed by one of them can be
taken up by another if that one fails to function
properly. Thus if the skin be inactive, more work
is thrown upon the lungs, kidneys, etc. ; and, conversely, the more active the skin the less work
these internal organs have to perform. From this
it is obvious that, in order to save these organs
as much as possible, and lengthen thtir life in
consequence, as much eliminative woi]?: as possible should be thrown upon the skin by stimulating its activities. By this means the health and
strength of the internal organs is maintained far
longer than would otherwise be possible and, inasmuch as old age and premature death are the
result, generally, of the premature breakingdown of these organs, and of the poisons which
are generated within the system in consequence,


it will be seen that one of the most effective
methods of prolonging life, and maintaining life
at the highest point of efficiency and energy, is to

maintain the greatest possible activity of the skin,

thus relieving the inner organs from the work
which they would otherwise be called upon to
perform. This is a view which has never been
sufficiently dwelt upon in books dealing with
longevity; but that it is an important factor in
the preservation of health is apparent to anyone
studying the general hygiene of the body. For



fifty, particularly,

increased activ-

ity of the skin is desirable, since the internal

organs are called upon, as a rule, to perform

greatly increased activities as the result of the
previous methods of life, the accumulation of
poisons within the system: and the lessened powers of the organs of elimination above referred to.
I cannot too strongly insist, therefore, that
the skin should be kept as active and healthy
as possible, by means of sun baths, air baths,
friction baths, with open hands, brushes, or
rough towels, and by various hydrotherapeutic
measures, as well as by means of the plentiful
drinking of water, in order that the strain upon
the inijer organs of depuration may be relieved.
The question of the temperature of the various
water baths, etc., suitable for the purpose, will
be dealt with in the two chapters which follow.


Hot Water and


Life-Preserving Uses

has been said that "heat facilitates, while cold

function." Cold water, while

exerts a useful, tonic effect on the system and

stimulates its activities, nevertheless requires a
certain amount of vitality to insure a healthful
reaction, and if the vitality be low and this reaction is not insured, it would be better to use hot
water, or dry heat, rather than cold in any form,
to secure the activity of the skin, or the part or
organ affected. In the preceding chapter we have
dealt with the necessity for keeping the skin active, thus relieving the internal organs of a large
part of their work ; also the fact that the temperature of the water should invariably be jproportioned to the temperature of the skin in inverse
^that is, the warmer the skin the cooler the
water, and the cooler the skin the warmei^ the



water, taken internally or applied externhas an extremely valuable effect in purifying the blood and relieving the system of the
accumulation of poisons which it contains. This
is especially necessary in kidney troubles, where
it is important to increase the fluidity of the blood
and in which an excess of water tends to wash
out the poisons and eliminate them from the


system, either through the kidneys or the skin.
age advances and the activity of the kidneys
becomes lessened, the tendency to accumulate
poisons increases, and it is because of this that we
find a rapid rise in the number of diseases due to
defective circulation and defective action of the
kidneys during the later years of life. Hence
the necessity for flushing the system by means
of hot and cold water at this period of life,
whenever occasion demands; and the reduction,
so far as possible, of all those foods which tend to
increase the acidity of the body, or add to the
toxic substances which it is the duty of the kidneys to separate from the blood, as it flows


through them. It must always be borne in mind

that the kidneys do not create poisons; they
merely act as filters, and separate poisons from
the blood, storing them up and later discharging
them from the system. Hence the importance of
preventing the premature breakdown of these
important organs.
Health and youth depend upon a poison-free
condition. The less poison in the system the
greater its vitality and its general health. This
is true even in the inorganic world.
The only
way to increase the activity of radium is to free
it f#om encumbering substances, with which it
is usually combined.
Professor Chundabose has
found that metals can become fatigued, apparently by the accumulation of poisons, in much the
same way that the muscles within the human
body do, and this "fatigue" can only be over15


come by


and by the elimination of the


cumulated poisons. This is doubly true of the

human body, where poisons tend to accumulate
great French physiolorapidly all the time.
gist has, in fact, called the body "a factory of
poisons." The only reason we do not die, as the

result of this constant poison-accumulation,


that we keep eliminating these elements all the

time. When this elimination is stopped, death
rapidly results. But it will be seen that, here as
elsewhere, "prevention is better than cure," and
that it would be far better to prevent the introduction of poisons into the system than to introduce them, and eliminate them later on. This is
a useless and extravagant expenditure of human
energy and, more than that, it wears down and
breaks down the human, mechanism more rapidly than anything elso. The way to prevent the
introduction of these poisons is chiefly through
the regulation of the food supply, and by a plentiful supply of fresh air and pure water. "If you
do not put trouble into the body you get none
out of it," as one author states.
or hot water is more cleansing than tepid
or cold, but is debilitating if its use is too prolonged. It is a rule with invalids of feeble circulation that they can bear extremes of neither hot
nor cold. Neutral temperature, about 90 degrees, or moderately warm, 83 to 95 degrees, is
better adapted to their condition.
Turkish baths, or other methods of promoting
the activity of the skin, are neither weakening



nor unwholesome if not too prolonged. Manypersons have taken baths of this character weekly or semi-weekly for years, and experienced
nothing but benefit. They should not, however,
be overdone. If the hot bath is too prolonged,
the skin becomes congested with blood, so as to
lose its normal sensibility, and the patient may
be injured without experiencing any painful degree of heat. Injurious effects will be experienced, in dizziness, faintness, nausea and relaxation of the whole muscular system.
rationale of this subject, in its relation to vital
exceedingly simple. When the surface of
the body is exposed to heat many degrees above
the temperature of the blood, the vessels of the
skin soon become congested, engorged; and so
long as the application of heat continues congestion will increase. Ultimately the vessels become

loss, is

so overstretched and relaxed that their vital property of contractibility is, to a degree, lost, and
they remain permanently congested, with corresponding loss of function. The idea that extreme
heat is in any sense "vitalizing" is ridiculous.
The experience of every person who labors during the heated term and the condition of every
person who suffers from sunstroke ought to teach

a different lesson.
Hot water is also extremely valuable for
enemas, stimulating the activity of the bowels
and having a beneficial effect upon the surrounding organs and tissues. Heat applied in this way
has been found extremely helpful in various


female complaints, and, in addition, a certain percentage of the water is absorbed into the blood,
thus .increasing



and that of the

excretions. There is also, of course, the direct

action of the water on the bowel-contents. The
water also acts as a healthy nerve-tonic, and has
a vitalizing effect upon all the organs of the body
in the immediate neighborhood.
Hot water can frequently be tolerated in
stomach disorders where cold water is rejected.

Being nearer the temperature of the blood, it is

more readily absorbed, and its action upon the
system is more immediate than is that of cold
water. In those conditions where the stomach is
extremely weak and cannot react readily, hot
water is frequently advisable, since the stomach
is doubtless subject to the same reactionary law
as the skin
that is
it cannot react promptly to
cold water, hot water had better be used instead.
In old age, as the vital powers are lowered, the

reaction to cold is frequently less powerful than

in youth, so that the more liberal application of
hot water, internally and externally, is probably
advisable. At the same time, the eoocessive use
of hot drinks may tend to devitalize the stomach
and internal organs in much the same way that
the activity of the skin will become lessened in
the absence of the stimulating properties of cold
air or water. In all such conditions the patient
should study himself, and as the result of experiment, ascertain what temperature is best suited
to his own needs, both in the matter of water18

drinking and in that of external application. As
Cornaro said, ''No man can be as good a physician to another as he can to himself." Each
individual should study the idiosyncrasies of his
own organism with the same care he would bestow upon any other piece of delicate mechanism
requiring adjustment and management.
Inasmuch, however, as heat, supplied by hot
water, tends to stimulate the internal organs and
supply warmth to the body, it is of great use in
advanced age, where the fires of the system burn
low, and the body does not so easily maintain the
same degree of heat that it formerly did. Instead of trying to maintain the heat of the body

by an excess of food, and particularly fatty foods,

therefore, it would be far better to take less of
these and supply the body with heat, by means
of the more natural method of drinking hot
or taking hot enemas, hot baths, hot
water applications, etc.

When we

take into account, also, the fact that

a great eliminator of poisons, and
soothes and invigorates the various internal organs, we can readily see the advantages to be
derived from its use by those of advancing years.

hot water



Cold Water at Three or Four Score


have just seen some of the beneficial


us see

fects of hot water,



when properly

cold water






what are the


benefits to be obtained from its use.

the last chapter it was stated that "heat

while cold stimulates, function." This

gives us a very good clue to the primary properties of cold water in any form
it is a tonic and
stimulant. It tones up and invigorates the parts
to which it is applied, increases the circulation
and produces a healthful reaction throughout the


Cold water bathing


a thing which can be

easily overdone, however, particularly

by one

in feeble health.
certain amount of vitality
is needed to react properly ; and when this vitality is low, as it often is in old age, the reaction
does not follow as it should, and then the effect

of cold water may be as harmful as it is beneficial

under other circumstances. So it is obvious that
this question is one which requires careful consideration.




are able to take "dips" in the

ocean even during very cold weather, but this

is certainly inadvisable, save for one who has
gradually toughened himself until he can stand

There is no period of life when such hardenit.
ing methods cannot be undertaken to advantage,
only they must be undertaken gradually and

begin cold baths in the summer

one is not accustomed to them. The
water should not be ice cold, but thoroughly
cool, to insure a reaction.
If the water is only
It is best to




no good

result will follow,

will be left feeling cold

and chilly.

and the skin

A fewjninutes'

exercise might precede the bath, so as to stimulate the circulation. If the feet and hands are
cold, the bath should not be taken until they are
few deep-breathing exercises are also
helpful, just before getting into the cold water.
It is very important that the skin should be fairly
warm before entering the cold water. If the surface of the body be chilled, the dip had best be
ommitted that day; and an air bath, accompanied by a brisk rub-down with a dry towel, or
brushes, and a few exercises, be substituted for it.
Anyone suffering from an exceptionally weak
heart must be extremely careful as to bathing
in cold water; and the same is true for anyone
suffering from kidney or circulatory trouble of
any kind. Cold is a powerful stimulant, and in
such cases must be employed with care.
good way to take a cold bath is as follows
Standing by the side of the bath, first dash
the water over the face and neck. Then, leaning
over still further, and supporting your weight
by one hand, dash the water against the chest,



over the heart, with the other hand. This will
take away the first shock to the heart and minimize the effect of the water later. Then jump
into the water, immersing the body up to the
waist. Finally, slide right down under the water,
so that only the head remains out. It is well to
move about constantly, and rub the surface of
the body while in the water. At first, you should
only remain in the water a few seconds ^just in
and out again. Later, you can remain in half
a minute or longer, regulating the length of the
stay by your own feelings. In cold weather it
should be just in, and out again.
Swimming, of course, is the ideal method of
taking cold water dips, when this is possible.
This adds the benefits of the exercise to that of
the stimulus from the water. If this is in salt
water, the tonic effects are still greater.
The drinking of cold water is beneficial at all
times when the water can be tolerated by the
stomach with ease, and a healthful reaction is
produced. Water drunk in this way should never
be ice cold, only thoroughly cool. Small coldwater enemas are also useful, in certain con-


cold water is especially

reason that if water enters
the body at a temperature, of say 60'' F., and
leaves it at the temperature of the body, 98.6'
F., it has been raised, in its passage through the
body, 38.6 F. This amount of heat it has, of
course, abstracted from the body. In all such


all feverish states,


It stands to


conditions, quantities of cold water should be
taken; and a plentiful supply of cold water, at
such times, is one of the prime essentials for a
rapid recovery.
General or local applications of cold water
are frequently useful, in diseased conditions.
Wet-sheet packs, douches, applications, etc., applied over the proper area, have been found extremely beneficial. Cold sitz baths, by relieving
the congested inner organs, are also helpful. For
all such methods of treatment, however, the
reader is referred to the works of Trail, etc., or
to Macfaddends Encyclopedia of Physical Culture, where full details will be found.
As to the quality of the water, but one rule
viz,, the purer the, better.
Filtered and
boiled water is best or properly distilled water.
The drinking of a glass of water the first thing
on arising in the morning, and another the last
thing at night should be made a habit. Otherwise, the quantity of water taken during the day
may be gauged according to craving. It is always
better to drink a little too much than too little
water, however. When we remember that the
body is mostly fluid "solids in solution" and
that there are many quarts of blood, lymph and
other fluids in the system, the importance of
water can be readily seen. Dr. Trail, in fact, defined death as "that condition in which the 'solids
of the body become so disproportioned to the
fluids that the activities of life can no longer
icontinue." All plants die if they are deprived of



water; and





times as long in

the absence of all food as he can if deprived of

water. In our steam-heated apartments the bodytends to become "dried out" very quickly. The
importance of keeping the body well supplied
with water is thus apparent especially when we
bear in mind the fact that water is the great
cleansing agent of the body, impurities of all

kinds being washed out by it. Drink plentifully

of water, therefore; accustom yourself to drink
more than you have been drinking, if this is less
than four glasses a day. Keep the body young
by plentiful water-drinking!




to Dress

an important factor all thru

this is as true in advanced
age as at any other time in life. In all animals
the skin is a natural protective covering, adapted



ways to the vicissitudes of the weather.

Fur-bearing animals grow a thicker crop of fur
in winter than in summer. The hair of other
animals such as the horse grows longer during the winter months. But with man this hairy
covering is practically gone, and his skin, thru
generations of inactivity and over-clothing, has
ceased, to a great degree, to respond to the
changes of the external temperature. It is because of this fact that the clothing must be
heavier in winter than in summer, and that we
heat our houses to the extent that we do, thereby
still further decreasing the healthful activity of

in various

the skin.

There is a self-regulating mechanism, however,

which adjusts the activity of the skin to the external temperature. Thus, if the weather be very
cold, the skin becomes tense; we "resist" the cold
to the extent, in very cold weather, of feeling a
muscular rigidity all over the body. This reaction serves a useful purpose. It prevents too
great a quantity of blood from reaching the sur25


face of the body, where, meeting the colder outer
temperature, it would become rapidly cooled.
Thus the chilling of the body is prevented. Alcohol tends to flush the skin with an excess of blood,
and produce a local feeling of warmth for the
time being; but, by so doing, it eventually cools
the body still more, since the blood brought to
the surface, where it meets the cold, outer air, is
thereby chilled. It is, therefore, quite an erroneous belief that alcohol, in any form, tends to
warm the body it cools it. This is so well known
to arctic explorers that, on very cold days, the
men are prohibited from drinking anything alcoholic so long as they remain out of doors. For
similar reasons, the old person, no matter how
cold h^ may feel, should not resort to any form
of alcoholic stimulant, under the impression that
He may experit will permanently warm him.
ience a feeling of warmth, for the time being;
but this is purely temporary, and will be followed
invariably by a reaction in which the body will be

colder than before.

The skin can be toughened, however, to a considerable extent, by usage, and by the tonic effects of cold water and cold air upon its surface,
to withstand low temperatures. There is a story
of a fur-clad traveller, riding thru a snow-covered country, in the Great Northwest, looking with
astonishment at a semi-nude Indian who came
out to greet him. The traveller asked the Indian
if he were not cold, thus scantily clad. The Indian
thought a moment, then replied:



**White man's face uncovered; no cold?'*

"No," replied the traveller, *'but that is hardened it is used to it."
"Uh," replied the native, "Indian all face!"
Thus we see the beneficial effect of stimulating
and invigorating the skin, and accustoming it to
withstand temperatures of all sorts, early in life.
At the same time, it is inadvisable to underclothe the body, in very cold weather, particularly if not used to it. For the aged, especially when
the natural heat is low, this is inadvisable. Keeping the surface of the body fairly warm enables
it to employ its vital activities for purposes other
than that of replacing the heat which is radiated
from the skin when it is not properly protected,
or the surrounding atmosphere is unduly low.
If the body has been accustomed to cold air,
cold water, etc., during its early years, the old
person can withstand low temperatures well but
if the body has never been subjected to this
toughening process, the old person must be ver}''
careful about leaving off heavy clothing. After
his skin has been toughened by sun and air baths,
and by the various health- and vitality-building
methods suggested in this book, he may be able
to do so but to leave it off without such preparation would be to inhibit at once the normal activity of the skin, with the result that it would
cease to function properly.
All changes of clothing" should be made very
carefully and very gradually, therefore, thinner
garments being adopted only after thinner cloth;





craved because of the activity of the skin

and the general improvement in the health.

At the same time, impervious garments are as
unwholesome for the old man or woman as they
are for the young of either sex. The skin cannot
function properly if the pores are clogged, the
skin inactive and anaemic, and the tissues flabby.
Nerves and blood-vessels need air, and greater
ventilation for the surface of the skin than our
present clothing habits provide is essential.
Woolen clothing readily absorbs the moisture
from the body, but also retains it and the result
of this is that, after the garments are once damp,
there is a constant layer of damp clothing next
to the skin. This is impervious to air and, if the
weather turns suddenly chilly, it tends to cool
off the body unduly and cause discomfort.
Silk and linen make the best undergarments,
and are usually to be recommended. They are
warm, and at the same time permit the access of
a certain amount of air to the surface of the body.
This promotes the activity of the skin, and it
must be remembered, that so long as the skin is
fairly active, it will not feel cold, or become


Needless to say, all tight and restrictive clothing should be discarded by those of advanced
years, as it tends to impede the circulation. This
is naturally less powerful in the later years of
life than in youth, and in consequence stagnation and anemia are more likely to be produced
in the parts

below the tight clothing.




and corsets all fall under
In man, tight hats also shut off the airsupply and circulation to the scalp, inducing premature baldness. In short, the clothing should
be as loose and as comfortable as possible; and
should be as light as is consistent with warmth
and the general comfort of the body.
As you advance in years, you should endeavor
to keep as young-looking as possible in your
dress. There is no reason why old people should
dress like "frumps," or cease to be well dressed.
"There are no more old people," it has been said.
Clothes have an undoubted psychological effect
upon the mind and body. At a masquerade party,
each character unconsciously begins to act out
the part his clothes signify. The clown will play
the fool; the courtier will become unusually
dignified the troubadour will become romantic,
etc. In much the same way, we all unconsciously
"live up to our clothes." If you dress in a fairly
youngf style, therefore, you will begin to feel
young; and this applies to men no less than to
women of advanced years.
Light clothes undoubtedly have a more cheering and happy effect than dark ones. Black is
always associated with sorrow and the more
sombre moods. White, and the lighter colors,
on the contrary, tend to cheer one up, and make
one feel bright and cheerful. It was doubtless
because of this' fact that Mark Twain adopted a
white suit during the last years of his life. He
found it cheered him up. The "man-in-white"
tight belts, tight collars
this ban.




who may be

seen walking about the streets of

City is constantly writing articles on
optimism. And it must always be remembered
that the mental condition reacts very markedly
upon the body, influencing the digestion, circulation, secretions, etc., as recent experiments by
Dr. Cannon have shown. For further material
along these interesting lines, the reader is referred to the chapter on Mental Influences.
White or very light clothing, moreover, is
penetrated by certain rays of the sun. Black
clothing admits other rays. In the tropics, it has
been found advisable to wear white clothing on
the outside, and black clothing beneath
shutting off both long and short rays. In our
milder climates, however, this is not essential,
and simple light clothing is the best in summertime. It is a mistake, however, to suppose that
black or dark clothng must be worn, on this ac-

New York

count, all winter. Light clothing is good at all

times, and there is no reason why men should not
use the lighter shades in winter as well as women.
The latter wear colors all the year round, and
those men who are not afraid of convention*
would find this a good practice also. Do not live
your life according to your environment; make
your environment conform to you In this question of clothing, it would be well for humanity
to remember more than it does now a saying of
an ancient occult school, propounded by its
master: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole

of the


Making Old
Bodies IfbuNG
Qhirty Eiqkt Cessans
in Buildinq Vitahtij
and Neroewrce and in
thec4rt ofPostponinq
.^ ^^/
Old c4ae

30, 31

and 32



Part Six

Basic Principles of Longevity

Comprising Lessons Thirty to Thirty-Eight

XXX. What Is Age?

A Man Is As Old As


His Arteries

XXXll. The

XXX 111.

Ductless Glands in Relation to

Sex and Age.
Old Age and Marriage.
On the Senses in Old Age.
Why Thinking Keeps You Young.
Man Is As Old As He Feels.
People Who Remain Young.

XXXV li. A






living organisms pass through a certain

of growth, maturity, and decline;

they become old, and at one time or another

from simple, natural causes if they have
not died from disease or accident before. Natural
death is, nowadays, rare Metchnikoff and others
have pointed out that it is but infrequently observed. Yet there is no known reason why man
should not reach the full term of years allotted
to him, just as animals do; and it is solely due
to our habits of life that we die prematurely, and
decline in our powers before our allotted time.
There can be no doubt that the average length
of life of the human race should be far greater
than it is now. The lower animals live about five
times as long as it takes them to mature; the
same rule should hold good for man also. He
matures at about twenty, let us say. Therefore he
should live to be a hundred, and that without
growing decrepit, or without* being regarded as
exceptionally old or long-lived
That should be
his normal age limit. But instead of this, what
do we find ? That the average duration of human
life is a fraction over forty-five years and more
than that, that these forty-five years are filled
with grievous diseases and illnesses of all sorts,



instead of with health and happiness Something
assuredly wrong somewhere. There must be a
reason for this. What is the reason?
The human body, as a machine, seems fit to run
a century, at least. If it breaks down sooner
than this, it is due to some factor, or factors,
which have interfered with its natural functioning. If health were maintained, that is, life would
continue for a hundred years, and so long as disease is prevented, the health should be good.
seem, therefore, driven to believe that disease
is that which wrecks and prematurely destroys
the body; and that, if disease were prevented,
the body would go on living for a very long time.
The prevention of old age and premature death,
therefore, narrows itself down to a question of
the prevention of disease; and this question
forms the subject-matter of this book.
It must not be thought, however, that by "disease" we mean acute disease, which causes immediate death. Any deviation from perfect health
is a diseased condition, in one sense; and such
conditions may run on in the system for years,
without outward manifestation, and without
being known to the patient, who may even think
himself in good health.
Improper functioning of the organs, particularly of the excretory oragns, may start a train of



influences, which, all

unknown and unsuspected

undermine his health,

comes a break-down from
a complication of disorders, the origins of which

by the

patient, gradually

until, years later, there




are hidden in the shadowy past.

must learn
to eradicate these conditions, whether discovered

or not; and this can be done by following the

course of life outlined in this course. Thus life
may be greatly prolonged, and health and happiness insured.
There can be no doubt that the greatest factor
in the production of disease is the food factor.
"We dig our graves with our teeth," it has been
said. Also, "If you do not put trouble into the
body, you will get none out of the body." Normally, we introduce nothing into the body except
air, food and drink.
That pure air is essential
goes without saying, and its importance is now
so well-known that it seems superfluous to do
more than call attention to the matter. Night
air is the only air there is at night and damp air
is no more injurious than air which is not damp
since every particle of air which enters the
lungs has been dampened by Nature before it
reaches them. Fresh air should be admitted at
all times of the day and night, and "the more
the better."
As to drink, pure water is the greatest of all
drinks, and there is one simple rule to be followed in this connection, "The purer the better."
Other drinks are merely a mixture of water and
other ingredients and the other ingredients are,
as a rule, the injurious factors. Broadly speakiny, however, drinks form part of the food problem, since they are liquid foods.
It is the food, therefore, which is the more im;


portant factor.


excess of food, or food of

an injurious character, destroys life more rapidly

than anything else; it is that which generates
poisons within the system and these poisons, in

turn, are the chief causes of disease, and. of premature old age and death. This subject has been
taken up in detail in the chapters on diet.
Natural death should be natural, and neither
violent nor premature. Metchnikoff held that,
if death be due to old age, it will be sought
for and anxiously awaited (instead of being
dreaded and feared), just as we long for the
night's sleep after a day of hard and trying work.
It is probable that this is the case. The dread of
death which is so universal merely shows us that,
in practically all cases, death has been premature

has come before it was wanted, before its appointed time. There is every reason to believe,
and every analogy points to the conclusion, that
death should be welcomed, as sleep is welcomed
by those fatigued. Metchnikoff produced some
cases in support of his contention; and he was
doubtless right.
Old age is almost invariably regarded as a
period of decreptitude and mental imbecility.
And although this is, as a matter of fact, the
all-but-invariable rule, there is no reason why
this should be the case. Hardly any of the wild
animals show signs of decreptitude in a similar
manner, and only some of the domestic animals
do. The rule would seem to be that the nearer we
live to Nature, the longer is death postponed,

and the more painless

it is.

Those living as the

majority do, indulging in rich foods, dissipations

of all .sorts and what are generally known as
"the good things of this world," do degenerate
prematurely and lose their mental and moral
fibre, no less than their physical power. Decay
is the rule uselessness is the general condition of
the aged among most civilized peoples and even
among some that are not civilized.
As to the causes of old age there has been
much theorizing, but it is now well known that
a process of hardening and ossification is an important factor in the production of the condition,
and this in turn is the result of the accumulation
of lime and other earthy salts in the system.
The most marked characteristic of old age is
the substitution of a fibrinous, gelatinous and
earthy substance for the living tissues of youth,
the earthy matter being chiefly composed of
phosphate and carbonate of lime, with small

quantities of sulphate of lime, magnesia and

traces of other salts. In the bones this change is
most noticeable. The amount of animal matter
in the bones, particularly in the long bones and
the bones of the head decreases, with age, while
the amount of mineral matter increases.
As age advances the muscles diminish in bulk
and become paler in color, less contractile and
The brain increases
less responsive to stimuli.
in size up to about fifty years of age, and afterward, there is a gradual and slow diminution in
weight, about one ounce in every ten years.


The convolutions

in the brain also



and prominent.

The dwra mater,

the external covering of the

becomes thickened and hardened, and is

often found apparently collapsed or corrugated.
Ossific deposits on the arachnoid, or middle membrane, are very common. This membrane* is
sometimes found also to have an abnormal dryness. The arteries supplying the brain become
thickened and lessened in calibre in old age. The
supply of blood thus becomes less and less, leading to mental deterioration in the very aged.

This gradual degeneration of the arteries, not

only in the brain but throughout the body, is
perhaps one of the most important of all the
changes that take place in old age, and has given
rise to the saying that "a man is as old as his
The capillaries also become choked
with earthy matter. As these changes take place
in the arteries, greater pressure

the veins.

These accordingly




thrown upon

dilate, their coats

They may also become


tuous and varicose.

The gradual process of hardening going on
throughout the system gives rise to various affections of the heart, manifesting themselves by
a variety of symptoms. The lungs gradually lose
their elasticity and the air-cells and bronchi become dilated hence the emphysema and chronic
bronchitis so often seen in the aged.
The salivary glands become hardened, and decrease in bulk, and owing partly to this cause and




partly to the decay of the nervous system, the

saliva may be secreted either in large quantities,
so that "dribbling" takes place, or in quantities
so small that the mouth is hardly moistened.
In the stomach the gastric juice is secreted in
a diluted form, deficient in pepsin, while the
muscular v^alls of the organ gradually lose their

wonted contractibility.
also becomes weak, and




the processes of digestion decline in efficiency. Alterations in the bile,

secreted by the liver, and in the fluid secretions
of the pancreas, may result in the less thorough
emulsification .and absorption of fat. In the intestines the small vessels which supply the follicles and various glands become hardened, or
even clogged up. The walls of the intestines beall

come opaque and

lose their contractibility, while

the minute tubes that drain off the digested food
undergo the same gradual alteration. From all
of which it appears how important it is that all
food should be restricted in quantity and simplified in quality in old age.
Almost all the viscera, and particularly those
glands and organs connected with the sexual apparatus, show signs of old age. The walls and
structures become harder in texture, and less

In the eye, in old age, there is a diminished

secretion of the aqueous fluid in the anterior
chamber, the cornea becomes less prominent, the
pupil more dilated, from lessened nervous sensibility. The retina often is found thickened, alter9


ed in color, tough and even ossified. The lens
becomes flattened on both surfaces, and assumes
a yellowish or amber tinge. It loses its transparency, and gradually increases in toughness and
in specific gravity.
Cataract is rarely found in
the young, but frequently in the aged. The ability to see small objects at the near point is usually lost.


subject to the same gradual proThe cartilages of the externa? ear become hardened, or even ossified ; the
secretion of ear-wax becomes less and altered in


cesses of ossification.

The membrana tympani becomes thickened and hardened. The ligaments connecting


the ossicles, the chain of little bones traversing

the middle ear, become hardened and their pliability is lessened; thus vibrations, which are already imperfect, owing to the hardening of the
membrana tympani, are improperly transmitted
across the cavity of the tympanum, by means of
the internal ear, the structures and fluids of which
have undergone the same processes of consolidation, to the auditory nerve, the sensibility of
which decreases with the senile changes of the
brain. Hence the impaired hearing so often observed in aged persons.
The whole membrane covering the tongue becomes thickened and hardened and dry, while
the blood-vessels supplying the papillae are decreased in size. Hence, the sense of taste is diminished.
The sense of smell is also lessened, owing to




the hardening of the membranes and cartilages

of the nose, while the fibres of the olfactory

nerves lose their susceptibility.

The sense of touch, throughout the body, is
greatly diminished for several reasons.
sensibility of the nerves is lowered. The epidermis becomes thickened, dry and less sensitive.
The capillaries supplying the pipillae are lessened
in caliber and the action of the sebaceous glands
is also diminished.
As is well known, the teeth are almost invariably lost before age is far advanced this being
due partly to external causes and partly to the
lessening and lowered quality of the blood supply upon which the nutrition of the teeth depends.
The hair is generally lost, and usually becomes
white. The cause of this loss of color for a
long time puzzled physiologists but it has now
been pretty conclusively shown that it is due to
the action of the phagocytes, the white corpuscles
of the blood, which devour the coloring matter.
The stock of vitality is decreased but whether
this is due to the state of the blood, or the state
of the blood due to the lowering of the vitality,
is a question which it is difficult to settle.
While the causes of these changes, which are
doubtless complex, are little understood, the fact
that the accumulation of earthy matter is such an
important factor in bringing them about gives us
a practical basis for action. These substances
are introduced into our bodies in food and drink,



and the degenerative changes of old age may, to a
great extent, be warded off by keeping them out.
The foods which contain the least percentage of
them have been found to be fruits, and a liberal
use of fruits in the diet will, therefore, promote
the prolongation of youth. This topic is dealt
with more fully, however, in the lesson devoted
to diet.
know, too, that these changes are only relatively a matter of years. They take place when
the vitality of the body is lowered and not when
It is, therefore,
it is maintained at a high level.
plain that the symptoms of old age may be largely postponed by maintaining the highest possible
degree of health, and it is known that when this
is done, many of them never appear, to the
extent outlined above. It thus becomes our duty
to inquire how this state of perfect health may
be preserved, that we may grow old gracefully,
and, like Cornaro, find in our declining years
"the most beautiful period of life."






As Old As His Arteries"Why?

HARDENING of the arteries

Arterioscleto be one of the great

menaces of old age. This condition is, to a large
extent, the cause of premature old age, and is
also a direct cause of premature death, in an increasingly large number of cases. In fact, recent


now known

have shown us that, while the number

of deaths from tuberculosis is constantly diminishing, the number of deaths from circulatory
troubles of all kinds is constantly increasing.
How to prevent the hardening of the arteries,
therefore, becomes a very important question for
the man or woman approaching old age. What
means should be employed to keep them soft and
pliable, instead of becoming brittle?
For many years it was thought that the' contraction of the heart was the sole cause of the
pulsation felt in the arteries ; but we now know
that the blood-vessels themselves have a good
deal to do with the circulation, owing to their
They contract and expand with the
pulsations, and can become almost empty of
blood by their own muscular action, or, on the
contrary, engorged with it. If the feet be held
in the air, they become almost emptied of blood.
This must go somewhere; it fills the large vessels in the body, and, to a certain extent, the head
also. Hence the importance of having the walls



of these vessels elastic, so that they can stretcK
when occasion demands, to meet this
extra pressure. If they do not do so, they are
liable to be ruptured; and then we have internal
hemorrhage, or apoplexy, if it occurs in the brain.
All parts of the body depend upon the blood
supply. It has been said: "There is only one disease
impure blood!" While this is an exaggeration, it is safe to say that this simple definition covers nine-tenths of existing diseases.
If the blood supply be shut off from any part,
even for a few minutes, that part begins to die.
know how useless an arm feels when the circulation has been cut off, during sleep, by lying
upon it.
often have to take the other hand
to move it. This shows us that the strength of
the arm depends upon the blood supply; for in
this instance the muscles, nerves and tissues are
perfectly sound; yet we have no control over
them, in the absence of the blood. This has given
rise to the saying: "The Blood is the Life!"
The brain, above all other organs, depends
upon the blood supply for its healthy functioning
and activity. It has been shown that, during
sleep, the supply of blood to the brain is materially lessened. This was proved by some delicate
experiments performed by Professor Mosso, of
Turin, Italy. He placed the subject on a board,
so adjusted that the slightest change in the distribution of the weight upon it would cause it
to tilt. When the subject fell asleep, the board
tilted towards the feet and when he woke up and





began to think

showit tilted towards the head

ing that the blood was drawn to that part by the
activity of the brain. The activities of consciousness require a plentiful blood supply and if the
brain be suddenly deprived of blood, consciousness is at once lost
as it is in fainting.
The more we use our brains, the more we think,
the greater supply of blood we use in the head,

and therefore the arteries and veins in the brain,

and those leading to and supplying the brain, are
materially increased in size as the result of brain
activity. Thus we see the importance of learning to use the brain early in life.
cannot become brain workers ov.ernight, any more than a
nation can raise a million trained soldiers overnight! It takes time to build up the necessary
mechanism, and it can only be done by constant
thinking, early in life.
Here we see the importance of beginning
young to develop the minds of children. While
the physiological habits of the body are being
formed then is the time to lay the necessary
can lay it later on
"pipage" to the brain.
in life, but it is much harder work.






show us

that the brain worker, other

things being equal, lives longer than the body
worker. This may be due in part to the fact that
the man who is able to devote his time to brain
work is as a rule better situated financially than
the man who works with his hands only. On the
other hand, the body worker usually has more



exercise, more outdoor air, less care and worry,
and should, we should imagine, live longer. But

he has neglected his brain! And after all, the

brain is the important factor in life.
body, the work he can do from his neck down,
is worth about two dollars and a half a day.
From his neck up, his work may be worth anything a million a year It all depends on what
he does with his brain. Yet the brain cannot
work unless the blood supply be pure and wholesome, and plentiful.
But not too much blood! Nature has taken
due care that the delicate tissue of the brain shall
not become engorged with blood. It is now
thought that the pineal gland has an influence
upon the blood supply in the brain, and there is
this other curious fact, very little known, even to
physicians: that, whereas all over the body, the
pulsation is synchronous with, or corresponds to,
the rate of the heart beat this extending even
to the membranes covering the brain the rate of
pulsation within the brain itself corresponds, not
with the heart, but with the respiration that is,
twelve or fourteen a minute This seems to show
us that Nature did not intend us to supply too
much blood, often heavily laden with malassimilated food material, to that delicate thinking and
feeling organ, lest it should be destroyed or in-

jured. And we know now that brain-cells are

actually destroyed, beyond all repair, by an excess of acidity in the blood, which, as we have
seen, is due chiefly to faulty diet.


The veins are naturally elastic this we can see
in the backs of the hands, especially in the evening, when th-ey are more prominent than in the
morning. They are not subject to the great pressure sustained by the arteries, because the capilreliaries
the tiny blood-vessels everywhere
duce this pressure, by overcoming the pulsation
hence there is no pulse in the veins. The arteries,
however, are subject 'to this pressure; every
throb of the heart forces the blood against their
elastic walls with reneWed force, and if they do
not respond, they are liable to become ruptured.
This danger becomes increasingly greater as age
advances; and we must learn to guard against

and prevent


walls of the arteries harden for much the

same reason that the bones and tissues all over
the body harden, becoming more dense, more
ligid and ossified. As the older writers expressed
it: "The animal portions become lessened, and
the mineral portions increased."
The tissues
have become hard, dense and brittle, instead of
soft and pliable. The result of this is that the
heart has to do extra work, in pumping the blood
through them; and in consequence we find the
heart generally increased in size, in old persons,
and the rate of the pulsation faster.
In more precise language, we may say that
the change which takes place in the arterial walls
of old people is the substitution for the elastic and
muscular tissues of fibrous and calcareous
(chalky) matter. Thus the walls become thick-



ened, roughened and dilated, and this tends to

impaired nutrition in the various tissues, with

consequent atrophic, fatty, cancerous, gangrenous, or. hemorrhagic tendencies.
These, of
course, are extreme cases, which are very rare.
In the majority of cases the changes are not very
noticeable. But there is always this tendency,
in old age, for the arteries to become hard; and
it is this tendency that we must guard against.
No one who has studied the question thoroughly and impartially can for a moment doubt that
this condiiton is brought about chiefly through
errors of diet
the food supply; and that these
errors have consisted, for the most part, in eating
too many cereals, too much meat, and too little

Meat creates an
fruit and fresh vegetables.
excess of acid in the system which attacks and
irritates the walls of the vessels; cereals, and
starchyjoods generally, leave a deposit of earthy
material, which is considerably added to by an
excess of salt in the food and by water containhave all noted how the inside
ing minerals.
of a kettle which has been used for a long period
to boil water that is very hard becomes coated
with earthy matter. Much the same sort of
thing takes place in the body. Mineral matter
of any sort tends to induce degeneration; hence
we see the need of drinking pure water ^water
which has been freed, so far as possible, from all
these mineral impurities.
Fruits and fresh vegetables, on the contrary
tend to prevent the accumulafruits especially




tion of these substances, for the simple reason
that they are not contained within them. Fruits
and vegetables contain organic or living mineral
salts, which are very different from the inorganic
Investigations conducted
or earthy minerals.
among "fruitarians," i. e., those who live almost
entirely upon fruits and nuts, have shown us that
the arteries do not tend to become hardened even
in fairly advanced age, upon such a diet, provided
it has been maintained consistently for some
time. On the contrary, ^mitsi invariably tend to
soften up the arteries, anorejuvenate and render
more pliable the tissues throughout the body.
Not only do they prevent the accumulation of
earthy deposits, but they will actually remove
them, to a large extent, when they have begun
to form, making the arteries, in a sense, **young"

and "new."


djj^kiji g of

pure water


another effective


for removing the deposits which cause

the aging of the body and the hardening of the
artery walls.
astin g, also, by its cleansing ac-

an important factor. Moreover, when

fasting, parts of the body may be truly replaced
by new tissues, and these new tissues are pregnant with life and health, as the old ones were
old and decrepit. The body is always making
itself over; it is striving to renovate itself, and
make itself, as it were, young; but the process
is hampered by our habits of life and diet which
destroy the body faster than we can build it up,
tion, is






allotted time.


Exercise, too, is extremely beneficial in cases
of this character; but here we must be careful,
since, if the walls of the arteries are brittle and
thin, they are liable to be ruptured by the excessive strain


imposed upon them by violent exone suffering from arteriosclerosis

should take the greatest care, therefore, at the beginning of the treatment, and depend primarily


fasting, water-drinking, fruit-eating and

passive exercises of all kinds,^ until the tissues
forming the walls of the arteries are renovated
and rejuvenated, before attempting any active
or strenuous exercises. Later on, something of
the kind may be gradually undertaken.
In serious cases of arteriosclerosis the exclusive^
inilk diet, following a fast, is undoubtedly very
It is now believed, too, that the condition of
the arteries depends very much upon the condition of the thyroidj^[and, which governs the
condition of the whole circulatory system ..."
The practical facts which the old person should
keep in mind, therefore, are these: Hardening
of the walls of the arteries is one of the surest
symptoms of old age, and one of the great causes
of premature death. It can be prevented by
proper methods of living, adopted early in life
and, if it has developed to any extent, it can
be largely overcome by proper methods of treatment, adopted even late in life. Of these methods
the most important are: plentiful water-drink20


ing; a bountiful supply of fruit {instead of, and
not in addition to, other foods) fresh vegetables
little, if any, meat
very little, gereal or starchy
food. These measures, if followed out, will result in the radical removal of this great curse of
old age and allow the patient to prolong his life
many years besides giving a vim and a zest to
life which before had been considered impossible.
Arteriosclerosis is not necessarily a fatal
disease. On the contrary, very few die from it,
even when it is fully developed. And it can also
be cured- to the extent, at least, that it no longer
troubles the patient
by the simple yet effective

means above



do not usually appreciate how much work

the heart is actually called upon to perform. It
beats more than two billion times, in fifty years
of active life, and produces each hour enough
power to lift 1,500 pounds three and a half feet
high. If you picture to yourself your arm lifting an eight-pound dumbbell, seventy times a
minute, twenty-four hours a day, without a stop,
summer and winter, year after year, you begin
to see the gigantic work which the heart performs. And it must perform it, if we are to live.
If it stops, only for a few seconds, we die! The
heart actually does all this, in each one of us,
during our


Arteriosclerosis has been called "the plague of

the wealthy"
from which one can readily see
that it is closely connected with a condition of
the blood and body generally due to an excess of


and the other things which go with
comfort and ease. If poverty degenerates the
system in some ways, affluence does in others.
Various diseases affect the heart seriously.
Among these we may mention: rheumatism,
syphilis, Graves' disease, Addison's disease, etc.
The effect of the mind or rather the emotions
upon the blood-vessels is most marked.
see this in blushing, when a mental or emotional
rich food,


neck to fill with blood; and in fainting, when
great anemia of the brain is often induced,
as the result of a sudden shock of a happy
state will cause the smaller vessels in the face

or unhappy nature.
To a lesser degree the
circulation is subject to such influences all
through life. Continual emotional states will
stress the walls of the blood-vessels, and actually
wear them out more effectually than will any
amount of wholesome exercise or recreation.
Regarding exercise, for those who suffer from
weak hearts, there is a system of walking which
has been especially devised for those with hearts
not seriously "sick," but in need of being
strengthened. It consists of taking walks, of
gradually increased length, on roads that gradually grow steeper. This strengthens the heart,
without serious risk of overtaxing it.
Nervousness and all unpleasant emotions
such as worry, fear, anger, irritation, etc. ^greatly aggravate the condition of arteriosclerosis.
Constipation has a similar effect. Tobacco and
alcohol are two important influences in inducing


this condition

The avoidance

and aggravating it when present.

of any accumulation of fat is es,

and all the hygienic measures previously

mentioned are of value both in preventing the
condition and in alleviating it once it has supersential,


The Ductless Glands

in Relation to



theories of the causation of old age have

great changes within the past

study of old age and its
problems may be said to be of relatively recent
origin, and it is only lately that we have begun
to have a really accurate knowledge of the
changes which take place in the later years of
life and of the causes which produced them.
have already given a number of the conditions
surrounding old age; and it remains for us, in
this chapter, to discuss one more theory, which
is very important, and relatively new.
It is the
outgrowth of the work of many scientific men
and physicians but the best exposition is perhaps

few years. The



found in Dr. Arnold Lorand's work. Old



According to this theory, old age and premature death depend, not upon the condition or
age of the arteries, but upon the condition of
the ductless glands in the body. All vital phenomena. Dr. Lorand says, are under the control
of the action of these glands everything depends
upon their condition. Depressing emotions are,
perhaps, the most fatal and certain of all means
of breaking down these organs, and insuring premature old age and death. He says, in part:




**The symptoms of old age are the result of

breakdown of the tissues and organs which,
owing to shrinking of the blood-vessels, are insufficiently supplied with blood, and, owing to

the disappearance of nervous elements, are devoid of proper nervous control.

"Degeneration of the ductless glands and of
the organs and tissues cannot be simultaneous,
for the latter are under the control of the former.
These glands govern the processes of metabolism
and nutrition of the tissues, and by their incessant antitoxic action protect the organism from
the numerous poisonous products, be they of
exogenous origin, introduced with air or food,
or endogenous, formed as waste products, during
vital processes.
After degeneration of these
glands, the processes of metabolism in the tissues
are diminished, and there is an increase of fibrous
tissue, at the expense of more highly differentiated structures
**The fact that the changes in the tissues are
secondary and take place only after primary
changes in the ductless glands, is best proved by
the circumstance that they can be produced,
either experimentally, by the extirpation of
certain of the ductless glands, or spontaneously,
by the degeneration of these glands in disease.
**It is evident from the above considerations
that all hygienic errors, be they errors of diet, or
any kind of excess, will bring about their own
punishment; and that premature old age, or a
shortened life, will be the result. In fact, it is




if we become senile at sixty or
seventy, and die before ninety or a hundred."
The so-called "ductless glands" are those
which do not directly pour out a secretion in the
usual manner. They have no channel or duct
leading into the general circulation; hence their
name, "ductless." The most important of these
are: the thyroid gland, the testicles, the ovaries,
the adrenals and the pituitary body. The first of
these is in the throat, at the side of the neck.
The second is the property of the male sex, and
the third of the female. The pituitary body is
in the brain, very near its center, while the
adrenals are attached to the kidneys.
The activity of these glandssmall as they are
certainly has an extremely important part to
play in the life processes. Without them the individual would die. If they become diseased, or
cease to function properly, the whole shape of
the body changes; disease sets in; the bones of
the head and face grow to hideous proportions;
the mental and physical characteristics of the
healthy organism fail to appear.
The adrenals, two small glands which adhere
to the top of the kidney on one side, are more
essential to life than the kidneys themselves, for
death will result less promptly from the removal
of the latter than from that of the adrenals.
Slow destruction, by tuberculosis, of the adrenals
causes that remarkable and fatal disorder called
Addison's disease, from the physician who first

mainly our fault

demonstrated its dependence upon derangements



of the adrenals. The sufferers die from pure deand often the skin becomes strangely disdrug possessing very remarkable
properties is made from the adrenals. It is known
as adrenalin, and, among other things, it is used
to arrest the progress of Addison's disease.
The Islands of Langerhans are peculiar structures embedded in the body of the pancreas, but
having nothing to do with the secretion of that
vital organ, which is discharged into the intestine,
wasting of these glands
through its own duct.
appears to be associated with that uncanny disease, diabetes, in which once wholesome foods become virulent poisons.
The thyroid gland is intimately connected with
the processes of oxidation in .the body; as well as
with cell-growth, the growth of the bones, the
general stature, and the sexual life.
The removal of the sexual glands, in.either men
or women, is known to have a profound influence
upon the appearance, and also upon the internal
Women in whom the ovaries are not well
developed are flat-chested, lack a fully developed
bust, have small hips, and are generally deficient
in the qualities characteristic of their sex.
Eunuchs, as a rule, look older than their age;
they lack courage and power their voice is pitched higher than that of the normal man; they
show various effeminate characteristics.
Degeneration of the pituitary body is also folbility,

lowed by premature


Persons in which
than their age.

this process takes place look older




pituitary body, or gland, and the thyroid

gland, seem to be connected in their functions,
one lowering the blood pressure, while the other
raises it, etc. Also, the degeneration of one is
soon followed by the degeneration of the other.
The thyroid gland is a very important poisondestroyer, and together with the liver and kidneys, is very active in neutralizing toxins formed within the body.
The researches of Lorand and others have
shown us that these ductless glands have a profound effect upon ( 1 ) the nutrition and growth
of the body; (2) the sexual life; (3) the resistance of the body to certain diseases; (4) the degree of obesity, or the reverse; (5) the bloodpressure and supply; (6) the onset of old age,
with its accompanying symptoms. The health
of these' glands is, therefore, of the utmost importance.
Dr. Lorand does not tell us, however, precisely
what makes these glands deteriorate. If the degeneration of the glands causes old age, what
causes the degeneration of the glands ? They certainly would not deteriorate of themselves.
The answer to this question is relatively simple.
The same causes which usually destroy health,
and break down the natural resistance of the
body, in any manner, also cause the destruction
and deterioration of the ductless glands. While
the abnormal functioning of these glands may,
and in fact actually does exert a profound influence upon the body its health, growth and



youthful appearance

it is

nevertheless true that

must become abnormal in their activities through some factor or factors, working
within the body, and that factor, par excellence,
the glands

the condition of the blood.

These glands, like every structure in the body,
depend upon the blood for their nutrition and
sustenance. If the blood be kept in good conditioii, the glands remain normal and healthy but
if the blood be filled with toxins and poisons of
all kinds, malassimilated food material, bacteria
and their products, etc., it is only natural that
the glands should deteriorate; and this deterioration will in turn be noted in the aging of the
body, and in those signs of disease before noted.
The prime necessity, therefore, is to maintain
the blood in perfect condition ; and we can do this
by the same methods of living which insure the
general health of the body.
do not, therefore, need to concern ourselves about the ductless glands. The same causes maintain perfect
health now as before these glands were discovered; and the factors which maintain health
are just as important
and just as simple now
as then, viz., proper diet, pure water, pure air,
exercise, right mental influences, etc.
There can be no doubt that nutrition plays a
profoundly important part in the health and activity of the glands. It has been found by actual
experiment, for instance, that an excess of meat
acts very detrimentally upon the thyroid gland,
and upon the others also. Emotional or sexual




excesses have the same effects, particularly upon
the sexual glands. Fruit has been found extremely beneficial in its action upon the various
glands ; and plenty of pure water, inside and out,
is essential to the proper performance of their
functions. Exercise is essential, if the blood is
to be kept pure and the circulation vigorous.
excess of starchy food has been found to have
an injurious effect upon these glands, while they
deteriorate very rapidly under the influence of a
diet too rich in proteii'^'
Lorand believes the best nourishment for increasing the chances of a long life and to defer
the effects of old age is a diet consisting of little
meat, much milk, and vegetables (including
He himself has lived for many weeks on
a diet consisting solely of milk, eggs, bread, butter, and fruits, and reports that he never felt so
fresh and well disposed to work as during that
time, and, as friends remarked, never looked so
well either..
From a study of the lives of patriarchs of great
age who, according to evidence, sometimes
legal, and acknowledged by the best of authorities, have attained an age much over one hundred, and in some cases even of one hundredanc
^I have come to the conclusion that by folsixty
lowing the hygienic rules laid down here, we cer-


tainly can preserve our youthfulness till fifty or

--^xty, and our life to one hundred or over.
There is no known reason why all men and women should not attain that age, as I have so often


and that without showing
signs of aging, or losing any of the faculties which we are accustomed to associate with
remarked before;



young, vigorous manhood or womanhood.

should not only live to be old, but live to enjoy
old age. And this we can do if we but follow
the simple dictates of Nature, as outlined in the
rules laid


in these lessons.


Making Old
Bodies l^eNG
Ghirty -Eiqht Lessons
in Building VitalitLf
and Neroewrce and in
the c4rt ofPostpon inn

Old c4ae



33, 34,


and 36

Beinan Macfadden

Copyright 19 19 by


New York City


Sex and Age
have just seen the important effects upon
the general health of the various ductless
glands of the body the thyroid, pituitary body,
adrenals, etc. ; and in the present chapter we shall
consider, more specifically, the other glands, connected especially with secc the ovaries in the
female, and the testicles in the male. Although
these glands represent the two opposite qualities,
"maleness" and "femaleness ;" yet they are also
very closely connected, inasmuch as, before birth,
it is impossible to tell, for many weeks, the sex
of the unborn child. At a later stage of development, the glands take either an upward turn, and
become ovaries, or a downward turn, and become
testes. The effects of these glands, in the male
and female organisms respectively, are nearly



Persons whose sexual glands have been extirpated, or in whom they have degenerated, soon
grow old, for alterations are thereby induced in
organs which are of great importance in the
maintainance of vitality and the attainment of
long life, the heart, stomach, intestines, liver,
etc. This is particularly true of women. It has
been shown that there is a close relation between
the condition of the ovaries and the heart. There


also an important relation between the ovaries
and the digestive organs, while the chronic constipation which so frequently accompanies a deis

generated condition of the sexual glands points

to a close relation between them and the intes-

Lorand believes that alterations in the

ovaries are able to produce alterations in the
liver, and the circulation of the bile, resulting in
the formation of gall-stones. The experiments
of Metchnikoff and others show that castrated
persons offer less resistance than others to infections, the sexual glands, like the ductless
glands in general, having the duty of protecting
the body from various kinds of toxins and infections. From all of this it will appear how important the functions of the sexual glands are,
and how essential it is to preserve them in a
state of health and vitality as long as possible.
At puberty the sexual glands are developed in

both sexes, and thenceforward, their activities

are most marked. In the female, particularly,
The ovaries, at the time of the
is this the case.
first menstruation, add a valuable substance to
the blood stream, which helps build the skeleton
and the breasts, and make the character of a


girl distinctly feminine. Thirty-three to

thirty-eight years later, the ovarian activity and
menstruation cease, whon the body loses its
capacity for childbearing, and the uterus and
breasts change to characterless or fatty tissues.
The entrance and exit period of the ovarian


puberty and menopause, have no





on the physical condition in general of a

a normal state. In our present-

woman living in

civilization, however, when a girl has to devote most of her time to indoor studies, etc.,
puberty often imposes a great strain upon the
heart, as the body now starts to grow rapidly,
and the heart finds* it a hard task to supply, with
blood impoverished, sufficient nutrition to the
body for the purpose.
After the menopause, a surplus of blood and
energy are forced into the body, as it were, and
this often results in palpitation, congestion, restlessness, etc. Unfortunately, the heart often becomes weak just at about this time in life, when
all its strength is required, and this is the cause
of extra trouble.
Between the forty-eighth and fifty-fifth year, a
great deal of male energy previously reserved for
the regenerative functions, is set free. "Many


men," Dr. I. H. Hirschfield, in his

on The Heart and Blood Vessels, says;
take this changed distribution of energy
kind of 'second wind' with which to pitch

"misfor a


into the battle of life, only, inside of ten years,

to break down with an exhausted heart. At the
forty-fifth year, at the latest, the heart loses part
its elasticity, and everybody who tries at that
age to work, smoke, drink, exercise, etc., as
though he were forty, risks hurting his heart be-


possibility of repair. Wear and tear

takes place in the very best built body. The
blessing of feeling young can be made lasting

yond the


only by acting as becomes one's age
Nature provides a long autumn to man's life, one
full of opportunities to enjoy the fruits of our
past work, and carry out ideas the mind produced
in youth, and to continue in channels the brain
has been accustomed to."


should maintain his sexual vigor almost


to the time of his death ; at least, if he loses it,

it should be many years after he usually does so.
With women, of course, the menopause, or
"change of life," takes place usually about fortyfive or fifty, though sometimes later, and after
that she is no longer reproductive. But the
changes which occur at that time, if the woman
be normal, should be simple and natural, and un-

attended by any of the nervous and mental

symptoms which commonly accompany it in our
fetid civilization.
Furthermore, if the sexual
life of a woman has been fairly normal, that is,
has had its natural expression, without abuse,
and health has been kept at a high level, there
is no reason why she should not grow old naturally and gracefully and the cessation of the activities of these glands would then have but little
efiect upon her health and general character.
The se^oial glands, like all others in the body,
are intended to be ^sed, and if they are not employed during life, they atrophy, with the results
noted above. It is highly injurious to live one's
v/hole life without sexual experience and if it is
done, there are sure to be signs of degeneration,
impaired nutrition, undevelopment, and also,


very often, an impaired mentality. This often
happens in the case of women, as Ella Wheeler
Wilcox has pointed out, in her Silent Tragedy

There is a tragedy lived everywhere

In Christian lands, by an increasing horde
Of women martyrs to our social laws.
Women whose hearts cry out for motherhood
Women whose bosoms ache for little heads;
Women God meant for mothers, but whose lives
Have been restrained, restricted and denied
Their natural channels ....

Woman when
The all-embracing

role of



Rebels with her whole being. Oftentimes

Rebellion finds its only utterance
In shattered nerves, and lack of self-control;
Which gives the merry world its chance to cry,
Old maids are queer!



man was

intended by Na-

ture to live her or his whole life, as so many

**old maids" do, without sexual experience. And
if a life is lived in this manner, harmful results,
mental and physical, are bound to follow. Many
ascetics have lived in this way, it is true; but
the energies of the body are said to be diverted,
in such cases, into other channels which are not
generally open to the layman. Furthermore, the
monasteries and nunneries of the Middle- Ages
were filled with abnormal cases, and various delusional maniacs swept over Europe during that



In short, there


abundant evidence to

show that a complete abstention from the use of

the sexual glands is decidedly harmful, both to
the mental and physical life of the person so abstaining.


the other hand, the abuse of these glands,

by sexual excesses, etc., tends not only to weaken
and ultimately to destroy them, but also to affect
all the other functions and structures of the body.
The nervous system, in particular, is affected by
such influences; and the impaired vitality, or
nervous exhaustion, which follows an excess of
this kind should be sufficient warning of the harm
which is liable to ensue.
Extremes in either direction are, therefore,
injurious. In youth and in early manhood and
womanhood the sexual functions (and consequently the sexual glands) should be exercised
judiciously; as age advances, however, their use
should be more curtailed, until, in old age, their
functions are 'suspended altogether. This occurs
automatically in the case of woman; and there
should be some correspondence to this, in the
case of man.
It is safe to say that after a man has passed
the age of forty-five or fifty, he should be
cautious as to the uses he makes of these organs
and should constantly, from year to year, diminish the demands upon them. Temperance and
moderation, here as elsewhere, are essential. In
the next chapter we will take up in greater detail, the proper use of the sexual organs in youth,
maturity and old age.

Old Age and Marriage.
the preceding chapters we have seen the imINportance
of the sexual glands, and what an influence they have upon the general mental and
physical health of the body.
have seen that
the over-activity of these glands tends to deplete
the vitality, impair the mind and detrimentally
affect the general health.
have also seen that
their complete inactivity interferes with the normal functioning of the body, especially with its
nutrition, and that the mental and physical health
suffer in consequence. The great question, therefore, arises:
often should expression of
the sexual life be permitted, in youth, in mature
life and in old age?
Is marriage invariably advisable ? These are important questions, particularly for men of advanced years, whose sexual
life may not have been concluded, and who wish
to preserve themselves in the highest state of
health and vitality.
There is no doubt that we are growing more
and more moderate in our ideas as to the place of
the sexual function in the physical life. Northern
nations are not temperamentally like the hotblooded southern ones, and rules laid down for
them may not be altogether applicable for us.
Nevertheless, inasmuch as these nations have





studied the question seriously for many centuries,
it should be worth our while to hear what they
may have to say.
According to the Prophet Mohamed, marital
intimacies should not be more frequent than
once in eight days. Zoroaster recommends once
in nine, Solon and Socrates once in ten, Moses
eight days before, and eight days after menstruation, and Luther twice a week.
The Talmud, the Holy Book of the Jews and encyclopaedia of Jewish knowledge, embracing a period
of from five hundred years before to six hundred
years after Christ, recommends the following in
respect to marital intercourse: Young, strong
men, every day; workmen, once a week; mental
workers, once a month. Acton advises copulation only once in from seven to ten days. Pomeroy says that matrimony is Nature's nectar, but
that if we indulge too freely, instead of nectar.
Nature will offer us water or bile, and finally
deadly poison To avoid an excess of sexual activity in married people, Kisch recommends a
separate bed for husband and wife.
have already pointed out the dangers of
too frequent sexual excitement for the elderly
person, and the warning should perhaps be emphasized. It has been noted that men of sixty
and seventy, when they marry young women,
generally grow old rapidly. This we can easily
understand. In the first place, there is likely to
be frequent indulgence in sexual relations; and
we have seen that an over-stimulation of the




sexual glands, late in life, is one of the great
causes of premature senility. In the second place,
there appears to be a certain "magnetism" in the
body, which may be acquired or gathered from
some persons, and is sapped by others, and the
strong are credited with taking it from the weak,
the young from the old.
Those men and women who have lived a normal married life, however, doubtless maintain
their health and youth more fully than those who
have not. Lorand, in writing On Married Life
as an Important Means for Prolonging Life,
insists over and over again upon the benefits of
the married state as a youth
and health promotor. In the first place, a comfortable home is
provided, with warmth, regular meals, good food,
etc., and the mental cheer which comes from congenial companionship and the sharing of one's
joys and sorrows with another. Doubtless a man
is better taken care of, if he is married, than if
he is single; and the same is true of a woman
She has greater comforts as a rule than
the unmarried woman, companionship, and the
protection which a husband can offer.
Again, if one is manied, one's habits are likely
to be more regular and normal than in single
life such late hours are not kept and unhealthful pleasures are not so likely to be indulged in.
Doubtless one of the chief factors, however,
in the prolongation of life by marriage, is that
the danger of sexual contamination, with its devastating results, is by this means avoided. The



after-effects of the


serious sexual diseases,

a very long time, and are
perhaps never fully eradicated. They lead, very
frequently, to pathological disturbances and deteriorations of a most serious, even fatal, character and these tend to deprive old age of many
of its blessings, even if they are overcome by
effective treatment at the time of infection.
As Dr. Lorand says, in speaking of this subas

we now know,




must emphatically advise all who desire

and the preservation of youthfulness as long as possible, to marry, and if they
become bereaved, to marry again. Celibacy is a



condition unknown to uncivilized nations; the

ancient Hindus considered it a crime that should
be punished; and, according to Du Perron, the
Parsees of the present time, who still follow the
religion of Zoroaster, regard celibacy as a deadly
sin. According to Tsen-ki-tong, an old maid is
a phenomenal rarity in China
"The best proof of the supposition that marriage is conducive to long life is the example
given us by the long-lived patriarchs, nearly all
of whom were married; for if they became
widowers, even though over a hundred years of
age, they soon married again ..."
The man or woman who is well past middle
age, however, should not conduct his life along
the same lines as a young man, or a young woman. For them, the physical side of life should
cease to attract as it did before, though they may



The mental


be healthy, active and


spiritual sides of their natures should en-


more than formerly and if

and pleasures are not material
as formerly, there is no reason why the joys of
gross their thoughts

their interests

old age should be less keen than those of youth

or adult life. If the body has been maintained
in health ; if the mind has been kept active, and
is well stocked with knowledge, as the result of
its former activity, the joys of old age, its intellectual pleasures, should be just as keen and
just as profitable as those of earlier years. And
these should offset, very largely, the former
material cravings of the body.
If a person of advanced years marries, he, or
she, should choose a mate of similar interests and
points of view, and one not too young. In this
way, a happy old age can be maintained, without
reproaches, and without that decline in health
which almost invariably follows the mating of
old age with youth. **To abstain is to enjoy,"
says an old proverb. This is more true in this
connection, perhaps, than it is in any other state
or stage of life.
It must always be remembered that there is a
definite relation between the sexual glands and
the virility and general condition of the body,
and consequently its power for long life. As
Dr. T. W. Williams remarked, in a recent issue
of a medical journal:
"The consensus of medical opinion is that




dependent upon



When M.

de Lesseps, the engineer of the Suez

Canal, became the father of a child at eighty,
canal shares immediately rose in price, the fact
indicating that his vitality would probably outlast the completion of the work. On the contrary,
a weak sexuality is interpreted as an indication
of feeble viability. Lack of sexuality, as a rule,
is indicated by generally inferior sexual development. Such subjects have never cultivated their
sexuality to a normal degree, but suppressed or
held it back for future i|ge, forgetful or ignorant
of the fact that not one of our physical attributes
can normally develop unless properly cultivated,
according to the physiological law that all secretory glands must functionate ^that is, work,
or otherwise abnormal inactivity prodepreciation
and atrophy. The sex glands
are by no means exempt from the operation of
this law of Nature. They must work, the same
as every other gland in the body, or the fate of
the thymus gland, which wastes away as soon
as it stops working, will be theirs. This is one
of the physical laws of our being made by the
Creator, and there is no escape from the penalty
of death of the part when it is wilfully disobey-


The conclusion which we are entitled to draw

from the foregoing, therefore, is that the sexual
glands must be used, if health and youth are to
be maintained but not overused, or abused and
that, as age advances, their use should be more
and more restricted, as the activities and powers



body as a whole decline. If these simple
rules be followed, there can be no doubt that
of the

years may be added to the life, and the mental

and physical powers may be kept at a high level
to the very end of life, which would then become a gradual lessening of all the energies until
their normal extinction takes place, painlessly
and easily, so that you approach your final resting place
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams


On The

Senses in Old Age.

IF the prolongation of life is to be worth while,

the senses must be preserved in an approximately satisfactory state. Through them the internal spirit communicates with the outer world,
and without such means of communication the
mind is locked within the dark chamber of the
skull, and the life of the body is a mere living
death. The most important part, therefore, of
the problem of prolonging life is the preservation

of the senses.

When we come to consider the question of the

preservation of the senses in old age, we must ask
ourselves First, what degenerative changes take
place ? Third, how can we prevent these changes ?
And fourth, to what extent can we correct them
after they have actually supervened?
answers to all these questions will be found to
be more or less inter-related. Nevertheless, for
the sake of clearness and completeness, they will
be considered separately.

The Changes Which Take Place in Old Age.

resume of some of the most important of


these changes has already been given.
seen that in the eye, ear, etc., a thickening or
toughening takes place of various essential parts,
together with an ossification or hardening, pre16


venting the harmonious, smooth working of
these organs.
Changes in the organs of hearing, touch, taste
and smell have already been referred to.

What Causes These Changes to Take Place?

What the primary cause may be we cannot say,
but we do know that the loss of vitality in the
body, the increasing acidity of the blood and tissues, the gradual accumulation of toxins and
poisons of all kinds, the hardening of the tissues,
the deterioration of the quality of the blood, the
lessened power of circulation, the decreased
nervous powers, the degeneration of the ductless
glands, are all active factors in inducing the gradual obliteration of the senses.

How Are We to Prevent These Changes From

In general, it may be said that
which maintain the general
health, youth and vigor of the body will tend
to preserve the senses. Pure blood, an active
mind and alert nervous system, actively functioning glands, thorough elimination, and proper
nutrition, cleanliness and repose
these are the
things which insure the attainment of an old
age free from disease, and which also insure the
maintenance of active, vigorous senses so long

Taking Place?




as life



essential to emphasize one or two

points of
importance in this connection. If the senses are to be preserved, they must
be exercised. It will not do to allow them to
become inactive, week after week, and year after


it is



year, and then expect them to function perfectly when called upon to do so
system of exercises should be devised and carried out, calculated to keep the senses in active use. They must
be trained just like the muscles, if they are to
be in perfect order.

On the other hand, all exhaustion of the nervous

system tends to cause a rapid deterioration of
the senses, and the nervous sensibilities generally. Dissipations and excesses of all kinds will do
this more rapidly than anything else. Pure, clean
blood is vital; we know that the sense organs
frequently deteriorate after some virulent blood



we must

appreciate the full force of these

realize that the sense organs
are an integral part of the nervous system.
Plenty of fresh fruits, above all else, will have
the effect of keeping the sense organs young,
fresh and vigorous. This is a question which
has been very little investigated, as yet but it is
sn undoubted fact that nearly all those old people whose senses are keen have lived very largely
upon fruits and fresh vegetables. Doubtless the
organic salts contained in them have a great influence upon the sense organs but whatever the
explanation may be, the fact itself seems not
open to doubt. Fresh air, rest and quiet are also


How Are We to Improve the

They Have Deteriorated? This
which most

vitally affects the

Senses, Once
a question


aged since



persons of advanced years, a certain dulling of



the senses has occurred. Let us take the five
senses in turn.
Taste, This has frequently been deadened or
partially destroyed, in many cases, by very hot
food, or highly seasoned food, early in life.
Through these influences, the sense of taste is
often lost, to a large extent. However, it is astonishing, even under these conditions, what an
amount of taste there is in even a simple mouthful of bread, if it be thoroughly masticated. If
the food is swallowed whole, without being thoroughly chewed and insalivated, half its taste is
lost if, on the other hand, it is masticated thoroughly, all the taste is extracted. Horace Fletcher
has called attention to this fact, in his writings.
The papillae of the tongue must be kept active,
by keeping the tongue itself soft and moist and
the saliva sweet. But it must always be remembered that the sense of taste is largely a matter
of smell. As a. matter of fact, we have only four
simple tastes; sweet, salt, sour and bitter. All
the rest is smell. Therefore to insure the extraction of all the taste possible from the food,
the nasal passages should be thoroughly cleaned
before eating, and breathing should go on normally all the time mastication is in progress.
Smell, What has just been said with regard
to taste applies to the sense of smell also.
have just seen to what an extent these two senses
are interrelated. To insure and keep the sense of
smell (a very valuable but much-neglected possession) the nose and throat should be kept open and




free from obstructions. Deep-breathing exercises
are useful here, while plenty of pure air, day and
night, is essential. The nasal passages should be
kept open and clean, by means of a weak solution
of salt and water preferably applied in the form

of a spray by the use of an atomizer. Care must

be exercised, after taking a nasal douche, to
allow all the water to drain out of the nose, afterwards, by holding the head well down. When
breathing, the nose should be relaxed, as much
as possible, and the breath inhaled as though
smelling a beautiful flower. In fact, strongly inhaling the scent of fresh flowers, daily, is a delightful stimulant to the sense of smell, as well as
being a useful breathing exercise.
Touch, Keeping the skin soft and pliable, by
means of plenty of water, is of the utmost benefit
Captain Diamond stated that he rubbed
his body over with olive oil every day; and he
was young and active at one hundred and ten!
Exercises for testing the sensitiveness of the
fingers, and the skin generally, are useful
as trying to tell, with the eyes closed, how far
apart are the points of a compass, pressed lightly
upon the skin, identifying cloths from their
weave, etc. Immersing the finger-tips in water
of various temperatures and concentrating the
mind on each seperate sensation at the time it
is experienced, is also very useful.
Hearing. In order to insure perfect hearing,
the ears should be kept thoroughly clean. This
is particularly true in old age, when hard deposits



of wax are apt to form in the ear. These should
be syringed out gently with warm water. Great
attention should be paid, also, to the throat, since
the Eustachian tube runs from the inner ear to
the throat, and if this becomes closed, as it often
does, in cases of catarrh of the ear, etc., deafness,
more or less complete, may result. It is easy to
see why this should be so. In order that the eardrum may vibrate freely, there must be an equal
air pressure on both sides of the drum. This is
insured, if the inner passages are open, as well
as the outer but if these become closed through
congestion, catarrh, etc., the air pressure on the
outside of the drum presses it inwards, and thus
prevents its free vibration.
short fast, followed
by a rigidly abstemious diet, largely of fruits,

will invariably relieve this condition,





sense of hearing should also be exercised.

to hear the tick of a watch or clock,
placed several feet away from the ear, is a very
good exercise. The degree of perfection of the
sense of hearing like that of all the senses
largely psychic; and strict attention to the subject in hand will often sharpen up this sense to
a surprising degree.
Sight. The sense of sight is that which connects us with the external world more than any
other of the five senses. When we see an object,
we seem to go outside of ourselves and actually
dwell in the outer world; and although science
tells us that we do not actually do so, external




objects being known to us only by our sensory
impressions of them, it is true, nevertheless, that
the greater part of our experience is of visual
origin. From this we will sfce the great importance of this sense.
As we grow older, the sight tends to become
dimmed, and old-age sight ^presbyopia usually supervenes. The accommodative power of the
eye becomes so changed that we can see clearly
only at a distance. For this reason, we see old
people, as a rule, holding print a long way away
from them, or putting on powerful glasses, in
order to see at near points. In fact, we have
grown so accustomed to the idea that a man or
a woman of seventy "must have glasses" in order
to see properly, that we are surprised to find one,
here and there, whose eyesight is perfect. Yet
there is no reason why the human eye should
fail, if it is properly taken care of and the health
of the body maintained. Let us see how this
great curse of old age can be avoided or over-


According to the old theory, old sight


byopia is due to the hardening of the lens of the

eye and a consequent lessening of its ability to
alter its curvature. To compensate for this loss
of flexibility, glasses are prescribed.
The brilliant researches of Dr. William H.
Bates have, however, proved conclusively that
the lens is not a factor in accommodation and
that presbyopia, like other errors of refraction,
is due to an unconscious strain of the outside


muscles of the eyeball. It has been shown that
this condition is purely functional and, therefore,


cure presbyopia* it

to relax the muscles

eyeball out of shape,


only necessary to learn

which are squeezing the

and this means relaxation
One of the best ways to

of the whole body.

secure such relaxation is to look at a black object,
close and cover the eyes so as to exclude all the
light, while avoiding pressure on the eyeball, and
remember this black object. If it is remembered
perfectly, the whole background will appear
black of a shade so deep that nothing blacker
can be imagined or remembered. This means that
a state of absolute relaxation has been attained
and that the eyes are perfectly at rest. When
they are opened it will be found that the sight
has improved, and though this improvement may
be only for a moment, it will gradually become
more permanent as the practice is continued.
When the black can be remembered with the
eyes open as well as with them closed, relaxation
can be maintained continuously and the sight becomes perfect. This has been proven in numerous cases and is not theory, but fact. Some persons learn to see black with their eyes closed,
and remember it with them open, quite easily;
others may not be able to succeed without the
assistance of some one who understands the

The reading of fine print is also useful in the
prevention and cure of presbyopia, because it
cannot be read unless the eyes are relaxed.


Why Thinking Keeps You Young


is an interesting physiological reason

for the greater longevity of professional men
and mental workers as compared with those who
have spent their lives at hard bodily labor. This
will emphasize the importance of keeping mentally active and at work in advanced years. And
especially it shows the importance of mental activity before one grows old.
In other words,
there is the best of reasons for keeping one's
mind alert and alive, not only for the sake of
the mental activity itself, with all that this means,
but for the sake of the body as well.
There should be no conflict between the requirements of the body and of the mind. Normal
physical activity is necessary to health, whether
in the form of work or play. But mental activity is also necessary to the best degree of health
and especially so in old age. To do nothing but
hard physical work, such as is demanded by any
form of unskilled labor, is obviously not conducive to mental development, for the reason that
the blood supply is required chiefly in the
muscles. The manual worker, therefore, should
make it a point to use and cultivate his mind duron Sunday, or in the morning his leisure time
ing or evening of each work day.




intellectual vigor after the age of eighty

of brains like Gladstone, Herbert Spen-


cer, Alfred Russell Wallace, Chauncey Depew

and a great many others that either you or I could
name, has often been commented upon. The

man is likely to preserve

of his mental faculties intact up to the last.
are all more or less familiar with what is
commonly called "second childhood." It means
simply a deterioration of the mental faculties.
In time, if the body holds out, the aged man may
reach a degree of senility and loss of mind such
that he may not recognize even the members
of his own family. Second childhood means that
the brain cells are deteriorating. They degenerate and become atrophied, largely, it is probable, through impairment of the circulation in
the brain.
And when the brain cells "go out of commission," or atrophy, the mental faculties with
which they are concerned naturally disappear
with them. That is precisely the meaning of
failing memory, inability to concentrate and
the other phenomena associated with second
childhood. This is the condition of the mind that
one should fight against by keeping mentally as
scholarly, intellectual



active as possible.

Now it is a matter of common observation that


man who



has done nothing but hard, muscu-

all his life is

much more

likely to de-

velop this second childhood and mental senility

than the intellectual man who has always done


brain work.



five or eighty-nine,

when he

dies at eighty-

or whatsoever age, will be

reported as having enjoyed his fullest faculties

up to the very end.
This shows the importance of acquiring the
habit of using your brains. The man who does
physical work and never does any thinking, as
we have seen, forms the physiological habit of
using his energy in his muscles, and naturally
sending his blood supply chiefly to these parts.
On the other hand, the man who works his
brain sends a large portion of his blood supply
to the brain.
may say that he establishes
the physiological habit of an extensive circulation
in his brain. This is important because it bears
directly on the question of mental activity in
age. Because of the large blood supply called
for by the brain, the arteries and blood-vessels of
the brain are enlarged. Not only is a physiological habit formed, but an apparatus which provides for extensive circulation is built. After
many years of such work a man cannot help but
be mentally active. His mind will work in spite
of himself.
The man who does little or no thinking, however, and thus sends comparatively little of his
blood to his brain, will have much smaller brain
arteries than the brain worker, and his brain circulation will be limited by comparison. When he
sits down in the evening, instead of his mind
being active, he is more likely to go to sleep.
It is easy to see the results, in either case, when




old age or even middle age arrives. As soon as
the arteries commence to harden and the walls
become thickened and narrow, the small brain
blood-vessels of the non-thinking man very
quickly diminish to such an extent that the brain
circulation is greatly decreased. With a little
further hardening and thickening of the arterial
walls the blood supply to parts of the brain will
be entirely shut off. The brain cells depending




blood supply will then atrophy and

second childhood and loss of




the brain worker

it is different.
have been enlarged, he contmues even in his most advanced years to enjoy
a splendid circulation to and in the brain.
large part of his blood supply is used in his head.
The brain cells are thus kept alive, fresh, vigorous and active. Consequently he can think as
well and work as well
or perhaps even better
at eighty than at forty or fifty years of age. The

his brain arteries

reason is physiological. It


a question of blood

It is clear, therefore, that nothing can be more

important, than mental activity and brain work,
not only in old age, but throughout one's life.
It does not mean very much if one's body lives
to the age of eighty years, if the mind lives only
to the age of sixty or less. Real life in the human
so far as life has any meaning
race is mental
long life measured in years is of
value only if it means the preservation of one's



mentality and personality


to the last of these



activity as a factor in prolonging


works out in two ways.

keeps up the mind itself, so long as

body maintains life, but because the brain

It not only


and nervous system are the center of human

energy and control the bodily forces, anything
that keeps up the mentality will also tend to
keep the body more vigorous.
As soon as you begin to stagnate mentally, you
commence to grow old. If you have begun to
vegetate mentally at the age of thirty-five or
forty years, as so many persons do, you have
commenced the aging process at that early age.
And you haven't a chance compared with a man
who works his brain, who grows mentally until
he is sixty or seventy years of age and who
still retains intellectual mastery over his work
at eighty or ninety years. I say you haven't a
chance not merely to keep your senses alive as
long as he, but you haven't even a chance to live
as long.

The most common and

men make as the

serious occupational
years advance, therefore, is to retire suddenly from the work of their
lives. The old farmer who has managed his affairs for years and who has thus developed a
shrewd business instinct, perhaps moves to town
and retires for the sake of a long vacation, but

error that

finds only fretfulness



Now it may be that Nature calls


for a decrease


in labor and a degree of freedom from care
in later life, but not for a complete idleness. To
be happy a man must continue his occupation in
advancing years, and preferably the occupation
in which he has spent his life, although it may
be desirable to be free from the strain of ex-

and excessive care. The

mind and body must both have occupation suited

ceptionally hard labor

to the existing strength

and powers.

The old man should not be imprisoned

home by his children and made a ward.

in a


should not be taken too much care of. The

young people can take over the heavier work,
but they should leave him a part of it. Especially
they should leave him a part of the management
of his own business and financial affairs, of the
garden, the upkeeping of the farmstead, or the
care of livestock.
portion of one's time should preferably be
taken up with some recreation of a sort that occupies both mind and body. In many cases
recreation must be learned very much as work is
learned, especially by those who have spent a
lifetime in hard work and scarcely know the
meaning of recreation. One cannot rush into
recreation or gport at once and get the most out
of it. It is easy to go to excess in recreation and
easy to tire of it.
man bored with his occupation, whether it be work or play, is not happy.
The amount and nature of mental activity in
old age most helpful to longevity should bear a
reasonable resemblance to the activities of earlier



life. As we have seen, the mind that has always
been active can usually continue its activity with
but little abatement until the close of life. But
old men should not usually attempt to enter en-

new fields of occupational activity. Most

of us have many sources of interest, and it may
be that some which we have cherished most have
been crowded out of our lives by the insistance
of work. Old age may offer a suitable time in
which to indulge these desires and hobbieiS.
Therefore, if you have made some progress in
the desired direction in earlier life, you may follow these lines in old age with pleasure and



The decay of overweaning ambition and the

growing love of work for its own sake is a desirable feature of age. The selfish grasping and
trampling of money-making is at all times to be

never so pitiable as in the old

greedy as his capacity
for the use of wealth decreases. If age permits
a certain relaxation from effort in the harder
work of one's life, it offers also splendid opportunities for indulgence in those pleasures and
activities which we cultivate not because of their
necessity but for their own sake.

it is

man who grows more


Making Old
Bodies \t)eNG
Ohirty -Eiqht Lessons
in Building Vital itij
and Neroewrce and in
thec4rt ofPostponinq
Old c/iqe


37 and 38



Copyright 1919 by


New York City




A Man Is as

Old as



THERE are two important phases of mental

life in advanced age. The first is concerned

with mental activity, as discussed in the precedThe second has to do with the
iiAg chapter.
emotional side of life. One is concerned with
thinking, the other with feeling. It is difficult
to say which is the more important, but if either
is the more essential, it is probably the latter.
Indeed, there is nothing in life so essential as
the preservation of the spirit of youth.
It is true that feeling and thinking are both
forms of mental activity. Feeling may be either

beneficial or






thinking in itself can be only beneficial. As we

have seen, the calm use of the mind prolongs its
power. Judges, philosophers and scientists enjoy a length of life greater than the average.
The use of the mind in thinking, therefore, is
not destructive of the bodily powers, but favorable to them. On the other hand, the emotional
use of the mind may have an influence in either
direction. If the emotions are of the destructive
sort, such as hate, anger, fear, envy, or passion
of any kind, they tend to shorten life. The
pleasurable emotions, on the other hand, are life
preservers. Old people should be happy.


We are influenced in our point of view far too
much by tradition. For instance, by the tradition
of old age. The traditions of childhood are associated with joy and laughter and play. The
traditions of age are associated far too much with
the fireside chair, a crusty dignity, a trusty pipe
are supposed
to settle down, as well as "set" down, to become
inactive and to lose all sympathy with the merry
joys of youth. Now it is just these traditions
that one should upset in one's own life.
Of all the arts of life, the greatest and the
most delightful is the cultivation of the spirit of
youth. Maintain not only the activities, but
also the mental attitude of youth. Just so long

^nd rusty rheumatism. Old people

as one can do this, one can keep young.

The chief mental distinction between the
youthful and the adult mind is that the former
has a happily optimistic outlook on life. Youth
is easily made happy.
IS easily amused
adult life, the illusions of youth are likely to be



and replaced with pessimism. Through malife it may be that the cares of business and

ihe responsibilities of rearing children tend to

stifle or keep down the happy and care-free spirit.
But when this period is past, when the childern
are reared and have established their own place
in the business world, life has no more cares that
are suflicient to justify the destruction of the
joy of life which is instinctive in all living things.
Except when cursed with poverty or ill health
(both often remediable) the elderly man o-r wo,


has small excuse for an unhappy attitude.

Irrespective of circumstances, the only way in

which life can be made worth while is by forgetting care and worry, cultivating the joy of
youth and the spirit of play.
This may not always seem as easy to realize
ai^ to say, in the beginning, but there is one way
in which it can be obtained almost without
And that is by association with young
people. The spirit of youth is infectious, for it is
after all the natural attitude toward existence,
and it is only the artificial cares of a civilized
existence that drive us from it.
Old people may feel that they are not welcome
among the young. It is quite true that, in many
cases, they are not. But it is only because of their
crusty and disapproving attitude. It is because
of the "kill- joy" spirit that so many adults, and
especially old people, have shown. But to associate with young people on their own terms, to
approve and enjoy and not to criticise, will make
any elderly person welcome to the society of
children, or those of youthful maturity. Do not
Let them feel your
let them feel your age.
youth. Let them realize that you are still human,
that you have the same feelings and sense of
pleasure that they enjoy. If you feel that they
need teaching, try example instead of preach-,
The young greatly enjoy the companionship
of an old person who really enters into the spirit
of their sports. The old man in swimming with


the boys, or the old lady dancing with the girls,
is a character that will be loved by all, except
perhaps by other old people who will criticize
because they secretly envy the popular one and
have not the courage to do likewise.
Cultivate above all things the spirit of play.
But how? There is only one way to cultivate
it and that is by playing.
The serious demands of adult life often tend to
crush the playful spirit. But there is such a thing
as taking even the serious affairs of life too
One can meet them much better if
one knows how to relax and forget them for
definite periods of each and every day.
You can forget how to play if you stop playing.
Even children may not know how to play if they
do not have the opportunity to do it. Among the
sweat-shop workers of our great cities, it has been
found that thousands of children have not known
how to play and have been practically strangers
to the spirit of play, simply because from their
earliest years they have been compelled to work.
Such children, it has been .found, must be taught
to play. It may be so in your case. Learn how
Cultivate the society of
to pl^y by playing.
children. There are children all over the earth.
If there are no children in your family, there are
children in the family next door, or across the
street. Anyone who wanta the society of young
people can have it simply by desiring it.
If you are able to sing, continue the practice of
singing as long as you can carry a tune. People

who sing constantly retain their voices in extreme
age, just as they retain their other powers. It is
only people who do not use their voices who lose
the ability to sing.
And learn to laugh! Laugh as the young
j)eople do, not only at the things that are truly
funny, but even at the things that are trivial.
This may mean that you must forget your dignity, but you needn't worry about that. If you
have assumed a false dignity, it is not worth having.
And the chances are that everyone will
recognize it for what it is worth. The young
people will not think any more of you because
you are stiff and dignified, but they will think a
great deal more of you if you are a thoroughly
human personality, and if they find pleasure in
your smile and regard you as a "good fellow."
Remember that a man is as old as he feels. The
minute he begins to feel like an old man and
adopts the manners of an old man, he will rapidly
get old. But so long as he retains the manners of
a young man and the mental outlook of a young
man, and maintains in every respect the spirit of
youth, he will actually remain young. And he
will enjoy life with all the gusto of youth
I)erhaps a great deal added to it.



Remain Young


idea seems to have become

or less prevalent that old age is
synonymous with decrepitude; but such should
not be the case, with men and women, any more
than it is in the case of animals living a normal,
healthy life. There is no reason why we should
not "grow old gracefully;" and, in fact, many old
people, like Cornaro, have actually learned to do
so. There are also many other examples of old
people who have attained a great age, and have
also retained their powers and faculties intact.
The consideration of a few of these cases will
doubtless be helpful and interesting.
On reviewing nearly two thousand reported
cases of persons who lived more than a century,
we generally find some peculiarity of diet or
habits to account for their alleged longevity.
find some living among all the luxuries that life
can afford; others in the most abject poverty.
Some drank large quantities of water, others
Some were total abstainers from alcoholic
drinks others not. Some smoked tobacco ; others
did not. Some lived entirely upon vegetables
others used animal foods also. Some worked
with their brain; others with their hands. Some
ate only one meal a day others more. In fact,



notice a great divergence of diet; but in most
cases it will always be found that the diet has
been abstemious. In the majority of cases of


longevity moderation in the quantity of food has

been the rule, as shown by the following cases
Judith Bannister, of Cowes, Isle of Wight, died
in 1754, aged 108. "She lived upon biscuits and
apphes, with milk and water, the last sixty years
of her life."
Ann Maynard, of Finchley, died in 1756, aged
112. "She lived with moderation, and took much

John Michaelstone, died in 1763, aged 127. "He

above great age By extreme temper-

lived to the



CaroUan, of Duleck, County Meath,

Ireland, died in 1764, aged 127. "By temperance and hard labor he attained so great an age."

Janet Anderson, of Newington, Middlesex,

died in 1764, aged 108. "Her life was regular
and temperate."
Elizabeth Macpherson lived in the County of
Caithness, died in 1765, aged 117. "Her diet was
buttermilk and greens ; she retained all her senses
till within three months of her death."
Mr. Dobson, of Hatfield, a farmer, died in
1 766, aged 139.
"By much exercise and temperate living, he preserved the inestimable blessing
of health."
Francis Confit, of Malton, Yorkshire, died in
1767, aged 130. "He was very temperate in his
living, and used great exercise, which, together


with occasionally eating a raw egg, enabled him
to attain such extraordinary age.'"
Catherine Noon, alias Noony, lived near the
city of Tuam, in Ireland, died in the same year,
aged 136. "Was very temperate at her meals.
Her husband died aged 128."
Philip Loutier, of Shoreditch, London, a
French barber, died at 105. **He drank nothing
but water, and ate only once a day."
Donald M'Gregor, a farmer in the Isle of Skye,
died at 1 17. "He was temperate at his meals, and
took much exercise."
Mrs. Boyce, of Guilford, Surrey, died in 1771,
aged 107. "By temperance she acquired constant health."
Paul Barral, of Nice, a priest, died in 1171,
aged 106. "He continued in good health by living on vegetables."
Mrs. Keithe, of Newham, Gloucestershire, died
in 1772, aged 133. "She lived moderately, and
retained her senses till within fourteen davs of
her death."
Mrs. Clum lived near Litchfield, Stafford, died
in 1773, aged 138. "By constant exercise and
temperate living she attained so great longevity
.... She resided in the same house 103 years."
Mary Rogers, of Penzance, Cornwall, died in
1779, aged 118. "Lived the last sixty years of
lier life on vegetables."
Val. ColebyroFPfeston, near Hull, died in 1782,
aged 116. "His diet for twenty years was milk




Cases of this character could be given almost
But the above
will serve as samples of many others, and will
show us the important fact that all these old
people ate very little during the last years of their
lives; they often took much exercise.
Some old people men particularly have
been known to live to very great age while drinking alcohol in some form, and smoking continuously. For every case of this character that
could be quoted, however, one could probably
give a hundred or a thousand cases of those unhappy victims who have tried to follow their bad
example and dropped by the wayside. Moreover,
there is a certain, philosophy behind all this.
While we do not advise either drinking or smoking, still, both drinking and smoking take away
the appetite; less food is eaten, the body does
not suffer from excessive protein intake and protein poisoning, or from other evils incidental to
overeating, and thus one of the prime factors in
the production of old age is greatly limited in
indefinitely, did space permit.



Of all the cases of "famous old people" that of

Thomas Parr is perhaps the most noted. He was
a native of Shropshire, and died in 1635, at the
reputed age of 152. He first married at the age
o^ eighty-eight, "seeming no older than many at

was finally brought to London by

Thomas, then Earl of Arundel, to see King
Charles I., "when he fed high, drank plentifully
of wines, by which his body was overcharged,




and the habits of the whole
body quite disordered; in consequence, there
could not but be speedy dissolution. If he had
not changed his diet, he might have lived many
his lungs obstructed,

years longer."

On his body being opened by Dr. Harvey


famous discoverer of the circulation of the blood

it was found to be in a most perfect state. **The
heart was thick, fibrous and fat; his cartilages
were not even ossified, as in the case of all old
l^eople," and the only cause to which death could
be attributed was, "a mere plethora, brought on
by more luxurious living in London than he had
been accustomed to in his native country, when
his food was plain and homely."
Parr was married the second time at the age of
a hundred and twenty one, and could run in foot
races and perform the ordinary work of an agri-

cultural laborer

when JJo^years


Another remarkable example of lengevity was

Henry Jenkins, of the County of Yorkshire, a
j)oor fisherman,







and died

in the year 1670, at the reputed

age of 169, as the result of a chill Called upon
to witness to a fact dating 140 years back, he ap!

peared before the justices, accompanied by his

two sons, of whom one was 102 and the other 100
years old!

Humboldt assures us for his part, that he had

seen, near Arequipa, a peasant aged 143, whose

was 117.


Mary McDonald, an inmate


of a house


for the aged in Philadelphia, at the beginning of
the year 1900 was in her 130th year.
Some of these ages may be exaggerated. In

Mr. Thome,

in his

work on Longevity,

there are very many

instances on record which are thoroughly established and authenticated, proving that many men
and women have long passed the century mark,
and also that they have maintained their health,
activity, spirits and senses intact, up to and past
that great age.
Blandin, Graves, Brj^an and others report cases
of old man and women who have cut new teettL.
at eighty, ninety, and even a hundred years of
age. Evans, in his book, Hoxic to Prolong Life,
gives no less than sixteen authenticated cases
in which new teeth were cut at a hundred years
of age and upward. He also gives numerous
cases in which the hair turned dark again at such
advanced ages. In many instances the generative
faculties (in men) seem to have been active up
to the very end of a long life. Finot has collected
a number of such cajses in his Philosophy of
Long Life. For instance Francois Naille, at
the age of 100 had a child by a woman of the
village in which he dwelt, and Baron de Capelli,
dying at 107, is reported to have left his fourth
wife pregnant. oNIany similar instances could be

proved them to be




Examples of intellectual work at very advanced

ages could readily be quoted. Archimedes discovered the burning-glass at 75. Epimenedes,


the Cretan philosopher, aged 100, continued to
astonish his contemporaries by his great intellect.
Solon, Zeno, Pythagoras, Diogenes, aU distinguished themselves by their vivacity and vigor
of mind, even after the age of 90. Democritus at
still mocked at human folly. Plato composed
several of his Dialogues at 80; and Cato learned Greek after having passed that advanced age.
Michael Angelo and Titian produced pictures at
90 years of age, while Alexander Humboldt as-


tounded those around him by his scientific

keeness at more than 90.
Many similar examples could be given, did
space permit, but these will at least show us that
old age can be made a very different thing from
what we have been in the habit of supposing;
and that, if the health be sound, and the brain
active, even great age will not interfere with the
comforts or pleasures of life, physical or intellectual.



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